When bringing a new way of doing things to organizations, we often get enamored with the physical or technical changes that support the new way of working. Surely if we have this THING, then we must be doing THAT.
But does this really mean that we have changed?
This recent blog post from Jon Miller at the Gemba Academy, Looking Right at the Essence of TPS, talks about a study group visiting "best in class" companies implementing Toyota Production System. What do the study group members noticed were shiny machines, clean floors. But they didn't notice HOW people were working - as best seen in the last part of the anecdote, where they visted an "old" factory that was still performing very well, just not with the new and shiny stuff that was seen in the other factories.
This reminds me of a classic self-help truism: Don't judge your insides based on other people's outsides. Just because they have software and hardware does not mean they are following the practices and behaviors required to gain value from this way of working.
This gets back to another observation that Miller makes in his blog post. One of the big elements that coaches, consultants and others need to bring is a clear description of what people should expect to see - behaviors, results, actions. Not so much external evidence.
What does good look like?