An extract from an article on Hondas’ Waigaya meetings that challenges hierarchy and old school, top-down, “command and control” culture. The approach can be frustrating when decisions are pre-programmed due to a process that has been trialled & tested and “Waigayaered” already but insanely rewarding when working towards finding a better way.
The trick is to build a culture that has a DNA that intrinsically knows when a Waigaya approach is needed and more importantly…when it’s not.
This reduces the negative impact on productivity of simple items, not needing full discussion, bringing the entire machine to a halt …
Although waigaya may seem too free-form to be productive and may appear to lack a leadership component strong enough to produce real results, these meetings actually have an organizing framework that, at least in theory, ensures their success. Indeed, the central tenets of Honda Motor’s waigaya approach can best be explained by four straightforward rules:
*Everybody is equal in waigaya, and all can express their thoughts with impunity.
*All ideas must be debated until they are either proven valid or rejected.
*Once a person shares an idea, he or she doesn’t own it anymore—it belongs to Honda, and the group can do with the idea what it will.
*At the end of waigaya, decisions and responsibilities are generated—a precise list of who is to do what, and by when.
The full article is on Strategy + Business
which was Published: August 1, 2014 / Autumn 2014 / Issue 76 by Jeffrey Rothfeder