Fostering an Environment of Scientific Thinking

By: Mike Martyn, SISU Consulting Group

Describing what it looks like when an organization “embraces scientific thinking” has evolved over the years at the Shingo Institute. If the reader were to look at the Shingo Model™ and Guidelines published just three years ago (2012), one would see a focus on training all associates in a “common understanding, approach, and language regarding improvement…(which) places a premium on defining and communicating desired outcomes…through a variety of models such as PDCA, the QI Story, A3 thinking and DMAIC.”

Today however, the definition of the principle focuses on the role of “cycles of experimentation, direct observation and learning” in driving improvements. And while the Shingo Institute still gives attention to the specific methodology used for practicing the scientific method, more emphasis is now placed on how organizations more generally “engage employees in teaching, modeling and thinking scientifically…[to] make decisions and experiment with good data…and seek the wisdom of others through collaboration.”

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