The ”Just Do It” Approach to Strategy Deployment Has Proven to “Just Not Work”

Randy Kesterson recently published a book titled The Basics of Hoshin Kanri, and it explains the basic steps to a strategy deployment and execution approach that has proven to be highly effective by companies such as Toyota, Danaher, and 3M.

The book includes interviews with many of the world’s leading Hoshin Kanri experts. For example, when asked to define Hoshin Kanri, Jeffrey Liker stated: “It’s a method for deciding the strategic direction from the top and then cascading that down to goals and objectives and then the means to achieve those goals and objectives.” Lisa Boisvert defined Hoshin Kanri as: "a strategic planning practice that defines a direction and priorities, aligns the organization around that direction through dialog and detailed plans, then implements and measures against those plans in a disciplined way.”

My direct question to Randy was: "What makes Hoshin Kanri a unique and useful strategic objective delivery system?" Here is Randy's complete answer:

What makes Hoshin Kanri unique can be summed up in two words … Catch Ball (which is an interactive process of tossing items and possibilities back and forth like a game of “catch.” It sometimes results in changes to proposed objectives, means and measures). 

Hoshin is unique in that it involves an unusual level of employee engagement in the strategy deployment process by means of the Catch Ball process, which is explained in the book. Hoshin Kanri and employee engagement enjoy a symbiotic/synergistic relationship. Hoshin Kanri requires employee engagement to be effective, and the effective use of Hoshin Kanri will dramatically improve employee engagement within an organization. 

What do you think of Randy's summation of Hoshin Kanri? Has Hoshin Kanri been applied in your organization? Feel free to discuss your results.