Genchi Genbutsu (literally, “real location, real thing”) is a vastly under-rated concept by nearly every leader I have come across. Few people have the stomach to walk an hour, let alone a day or week – in the shoes of their frontline people. Besides the usual platitudes of “you are doing a wonderful job, we couldn’t do this without you”, nearly every frontline folks I’ve met are deeply suspicious of the “leadership” team.
With CoVID’s shackles finally coming off, in the last few weeks I have had the opportunity to re-start my field trips. The amount of learning in spending two days I have personally had is utterly useless unless I translate it for the rest of the people I work with, who aren’t yet able to do what I can do.
I came across an article yesterday that made the point loudly – the skills gap in Tech that exists that few people are talking about is writing. The author, writing from her recent experiences, observes:
Perhaps the importance of writing is why, in the tech policy space, a majority of leaders come from legal and policy backgrounds – where clear communication is part of the training – despite the need for technical expertise in many of these roles. This gap in writing is impeding our ability to recruit technical experts in these critical government positions.
While there’s little in the way of training I can claim, writing every day is one of the few things I can think of to improve the way I articulate my ideas.