[pm_parallax slogan=”Session Highlights” speed=”slow” image=”2850″]


Home              Agenda              Hotel & Travel              Registration              Resources

Kata for Creativity and Service Excellence

No customer wants to hear the words “I can’t”. Customers do business with a company because they expect them to be able to meet each of their service needs no matter how great or small. Unfortunately, many service interactions end with the service provider telling the customer that their request cannot be met. Take a walk in gemba in any service organization, and chances are what you will hear is service providers telling customers. “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t…”

Service excellence, however, means that we are able to satisfy each customer’s service request, no matter how impossible it seems. So it’s imperative that service providers learn how to move from “I can’t” to “Of course we can! Let’s figure out how.” And that’s where the coaching kata and improvement kata come in. Through the IK and CK, we can teach service providers how to create innovative service solutions that can meet each customer’s needs. Service providers will develop what I call the ‘creativity habit’.

Because each organization and their customers are unique, each will have a different vision of service excellence. As explained in The Toyota Way to Service Excellence (chapter 9), the IK and CK are an integral part of Hoshin Kanri (strategic policy deployment). As the organization develops the ‘creativity habit’ and strives toward their vision of service excellence they’ll be able to find creative ways to provide the services that each of their customers wants so that they can fulfill their purpose over the long term.

Examples from a variety of service sectors will be used to illustrate.


In this session, you will learn…

  •   How to turn I can’t’ into ‘Of course we can! Let’s figure out how!’ to deliver service excellence
  • How using the coaching kata and improvement kata develops a creativity habit
  • How developing the creativity habit across the organization allows everyone to strive together towards the vision of service excellence

Karyn Ross

Karyn Ross

Karyn Ross is a lean consultant and executive coach focused on creating sustainable business culture change in service organizations. She has worked with companies such as Paychex, PrimePay, Zurich insurance, and National Taxi Limo to help them develop a culture of creativity and improved business practices. A regular contributor to the Lean Leadership Ways Industry Week blog, she has also written for The Lean Management Journal and Industrial Engineer magazine. Ross is a practicing artist and resides in Naperville, Illinois.