Give a man a fish: Hands-on training works

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There is no real replacement for real on-the-job, relevant training and this is especially the case with Lean.  In this blog post, Steve Chicken looks at the benefits of learning Lean tools and techniques together in the factory environment.

When it comes to teaching and learning, Confucius was spot when he said: “Tell me, I’ll forget; show me, I’ll remember; involve me, I’ll understand”. This is especially relevant when targeting Lean at manufacturing shop floor workers, who are by their nature very hands-on. As such, practical training and implementation exercises, as opposed to 'talk and chalk' classroom-based activities, tend to play to their strengths and overcome a common fear of 'book learning'.

Right place, right time.

Sitting shop floor workers in a classroom and asking them to watch and listen only engages two of their senses.  If, as a trainer, you’re not able to keep their attention, then the amount that they are using those senses declines and they learn even less. Learning by doing however, engages all of their senses and relates their training directly to their day-to-day job.


Tailored training

EEF’s Lean Academy approach is learning by doing. We have replaced the traditional desk-top Lego games with a full-scale, configurable and transportable assembly line to make the exercises realistic and relevant to the Lean challenges faced by individual companies.

Learning Lean through the EEF Lean Academy isn’t a matter of taking theories and then attempting to apply them back in the factory environment. It’s a matter of taking the challenges that you face in your own environment and training around them. 

Whether it’s the words of Confucious or the old adage “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he’ll eat forever” the point remains – if training is practical, it’s meaningful and that’s how our Lean Academy has been designed.

To find out more about our Lean Academy, visit our training site or contact us.


Manufacturing Growth Director

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