Sports, dinner, and Visual Management: the connecting factor

What do a sports event, a dinner party, and Visual Management have in common?

Last week, I attended an event at a sports stadium in the Dutch city of Deventer. As part of the event, someone explained what it means to run a soccer team, especially if it’s a First Division team like the Go Ahead Eagles. As it turns out, these soccer events are shot from a variety of angles when broadcast on Dutch television — there are approximately 60 people involved to make sure the audience is presented with relevant, real-time information.

This sparked my interest, as it shows how much effort it takes to share the right data at the right time. And I was able to draw an interesting analogy between sports events, dinner parties, and Visual Management!

Directing the ‘work floor scene’

Like a sports event, Visual Management is also about ‘directing a scene’ (or, streamlining everything on the work floor) by filtering and sharing relevant data — although here, the ‘audience’ consists of employees who need to get actionable, real-time information so they can make independent, well-informed decisions. As the ‘director,’ you need to oversee the entire ‘playing field’ (or, the team and its goings-on) to create transparency and foster commitment.

And that’s crucial. For in this day and age, talented employees are scarce. If you find them, you want to keep and cherish them. That means you’ll have to ensure all information they get to see is top-notch and visualized in an appealing way. It helps them make better choices, which results in enhanced employee satisfaction — which, in turn, increases customer satisfaction.

The connecting factor

There’s another element of Visual Management that contributes to higher employee satisfaction: it serves as the connecting factor.

Like a sports event or dinner party, Visual Management connects people. If you watch a game in a stadium and a soccer player scores a goal, the audience utters a collective cheer. If someone puts a cake with candles on the dinner table, everybody sings ‘Happy Birthday.’ And if a call center is suddenly flooded with calls, employees will exchange a few words and coordinate their efforts to tackle the queue.

Briefly put, carefully chosen visualizations unite people!

Want to know more about Visual Management as a connecting factor and explore your opportunities? Please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are happy to perform a Quick Scan and discuss your information sharing strategy.

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