2nd Feb 2007 | By Raghu Ananthanarayanan

During an executive retreat that I was conducting, one of the participants who had worked fairly intensely with himself, came up with an interesting question. "We spend a lot of time and effort doing 5S on the shop floor and workplace. This is very good, but, we don't think twice about the way we treat people. Is there any way we can work where there are no hurts, indignity and dehumanising?"

Perhaps there can be a practice of 5S for the heart. "May be the commitment of managers and executives to show care and concern for the personhood of the operatives and shop floor managers ought to be a prerequisite for asking the people on the Gemba to show care and concern for the more tangible resources of the organisation.