The eye leads the hand


The secret of visual management is that the eye leads the hand… which then leads the brain.

Specifically, attention – the brain’s system one of fast reaction – leads the eye, which then leads the hand to action. The consequences of these actions if they’re not too sudden or emotionally overwhelming, trigger the brain’s system two of slow thinking.

Visual management is all about making it easy for the eye to lead the hand. As when you’re driving in an unfamiliar town, sometimes directions are easy – you see the arrow, you see the dotted line, you take the turn, no sweat. Sometimes they’re hard. You think. It goes too quick. You take the wrong turn. You’re lost. The GPS tells you something else; Mr. Google tells you something else. We’ve all been there.

Sit yourself at one of your employee’s desk and ask yourself:

  1. Can this person see where I’m trying to go?
  2. Can this person see whether she’s doing ok right now, and helping we going where I’m trying to go?
  3. What practical obstacles is this person encountering in doing 1) and 2)

To help his teams concretely build a green strategy through repeated kaizen, this CO created a visual showing the branches of the green strategy:


By looking up to the tree they can see whether their efforts align with the strategy, where things work out and where they don’t, in order to spur deeper thinking and new ideas.

Visual management is about building an environment where the eye can lead the hand intuitively, and progressively clarifying this “line of sight” to take Tracey Richardson’s term, through 5S will further engage the teams in finding better ways to make the company progress.

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