Sunday, June 17, 2018

Lean Gelateria | Part 4 | Imitations Galore!

There are tens of thousands of gelato shops around the world. However, it is very rare to find a shop that matches the authenticity and delicacy of Italian Gelato!  Everyone knows the recipe, the procedure or the method.  Less than 0.1% of them deliver authentic gelato.  Why so?

The answer
In 2011, Larry Olmstead, wrote an article ‘The Best Gelato in America’, in Forbes Magazine.  In this article, he says,

"I had never had standout gelato on our shores (i.e. United States). I’ve had okay gelato, …… but not great gelato. The biggest problems are either “mass market” style gelatos made from bagged mixes, which you will find in resort areas and malls, and hipster-style gelato, which seeks to improve on the original before mastering the original, with flavors like star anise when they can’t perfect pistachio."

And he adds, "When it comes to gelato, I usually go for a fruit or nut version, which I rarely do in ice cream, because the nature of gelato amplifies the taste of the ingredients. The benchmark gelato is pistachio, because every shop in Italy has it and Italy grows some of the world’s best pistachios.   The easiest way to assess gelato is simply by looking at it. Good gelato has muted natural colors, nothing bright. Pistachios are not actually electric green, and neither are kiwis, while cantaloupes are light orange, not bright orange."

Weak pillars don’t support
In Part-2 of this blog series, I mentioned that not only MIT researchers but also thousands of senior leaders from several corporates visited Toyota’s production lines in Japan.  They studied the practices and returned home to implement them.  Most of them implemented all such practices but failed to demonstrate results!   Meanwhile, Toyota replicated its practices in United States and started manufacturing cars there! It worked seamlessly.

“The pillars of Lean Thinking are not tools and waste reduction”, says Craig Larman.     

Toyota president Gary Convis says, “The two pillars that support The Toyota Way (also known as Lean Thinking) are, Respect for People and Continuous Improvement.

When you have respect for people, you harness the intellect of employees, you establish a meaningful relationship with customers, you do not allocate wasteful work to teams, and finally you develop teams and grow customers.

Harnessing the intellect
In 2006, Gary Hamel wrote a paper “Management Innovation” in Harvard Business Review.  In this paper he wrote, “Only after American carmakers had exhausted every other explanation for Toyota’s success – an undervalued yen, a docile workforce, Japanese culture, and superior automation – were they finally able to admit that Toyota’s real advantage was its ability to harness the intellect of ‘ordinary’ employees.”

In Agile 2006, Tom Poppendieck said, “Today, GM and Ford have adopted most of the [Lean] practices. They understand about eliminating waste. But, they neglected the other pillar of Lean. The other foundational pillar of Lean is ‘Respect People’. That is the huge difference. When you respect people, you don’t waste their work. You don’t ask them to do useless things. You train them. You treasure their input. You enable them to do the very best job they can. And, you give them pride in their work. Pride is the most important compensation you can give anybody – not money.”
Makes lot of sense! Right?
Let me ask you
What do these two pillars of lean mean to you?   What practices relate to these two pillars?