Harada testimonial from Australia

Posted by Norman Bodek on Nov.28, 2014


Brendan (Sydney Australia)  Nov 28 2014


How did I become interested in Harada?

In my 12 months of doing Business Improvement full time I was thinking about how anybody can learn the various Lean tools but the key was engaging the people. I wondered how I might be able to do that better.


I started listening to LSS podcasts trying to learn as much as possible about the people side of lean. I was watching my sons football clinic at the time and I started listening to a podcast of Norman Bodek explaining something called The Harada Method. It struck a chord with me. The ‘worlds best process’ to develop people to their fullest capability. I wanted to learn more about this.


At the end of the podcast Norman shared his contact details and I emailed him straight away asking some questions about how I can learn more.


Norman shared some information and put me in contact with a guy in Adelaide who was certified to coach the Harada method. I contacted Brenton Leitch, Learning and Productivity, Adelaide that afternoon. The connection was instant. As we talked, we learnt we had very similar thoughts about people development and how this is a fundamental and vitally important part of continuous improvement. After the conversation I was so excited about the possibilities of how this method could help me and how I could use it to help others achieve their goals.


What has The Harada Method done for me?

I have only been using Harada for 4 months and already I feel like a new person. I am totally focused on where I am going, what my goal is and how I can achieve it. It has given me a renewed and focused energy to my role and how I want to be portrayed as a business improvement specialist.


It has also brought greater balance to my life. The role I play as a husband and father has become better. I now think more about how I can ‘serve’ my family. I make time for my wife and to spend quality time with each other. I also make time for us to do things as a family. These are the things I wasn’t so good at in the past. I didn’t have the balance in my life that I have now. Harada has been the catalyst for making this happen.



What benefits have I found using The Harada Method

The Harada Method has helped me become more organized in my daily life. There is always so much to do and not enough time to do it in. Not anymore.  Before I go to sleep at night, I plan for the following day. I know exactly what I am able to achieve during the next day. This gives me focus on work tasks and personal tasks. I know what work tasks I can fit in and I know what personal tasks I can fit into the day. Thinking about the time a task may take me also makes me consider realistically what is possible in the day. If I can’t do something that day then I know I can make some time for it the following day. The main point is that I know I will get it done as long as I plan for it.

By being organized, it makes me more productive. I am able to focus on one task at a time without thinking about the many other things that I am yet to do. My mind is in the present focused on what I am doing at that moment in time. This focus is enabling me to do tasks more quickly. I am not distracted by my wavering thoughts. I had always been that person who had a number of things on the go at once feeling like this is the best and quickest way to get things done. Really, what this was doing was ‘stressing me out’ knowing that I had many things started and not yet finished. I now focus on 1 or 2 key items moving me towards my goal. I work on these and I get them finished in the time I allocate. Because I have my future tasks in my 64-chart I know I will get them done, as long as I make time in my schedule for them. I also know I won’t forget them as they are written down. This keeps me in the present and not worrying about future tasks.

The most satisfying feeling I have had about having my mind in the present is when I am with my family. We all live busy lives and quite often I would be with my family but my mind would be somewhere else.  I would be thinking about work, or some job or task that I needed to do. I am now really spending time with them. It is not just my body being present and my mind wandering elsewhere.  This makes the time together so much more enjoyable. I record the things I have to do either in my 64-chart or my daily notes and I know I will get to them – I don’t need to think about them until then.

I have always been one of those people who read a lot. I buy books and they pile up on my bedside table. I start to stress out about when will I get the time to read them all. The reading work was piling up all around me. With Harada, I have committed myself to certain routines and one of these includes reading for 30 minutes a day on business improvement in the service industry, which links to my goal. I know that as long as I do this, I will make my way through the books. In fact, now I am getting through my reading quicker than ever and am focused on getting more and more information on Business Improvement. I can’t get enough!

Harada has also taught me the importance and discipline of routine.  Not only routines taking me towards my goal but routines that help my family and myself everyday. This provides a great balance and ensures that not only am I happy doing what I am doing to move towards my goal but my family is happy as well. A couple of routines that I never made enough time for before Harada is spending quality family time together and also time just for my wife and I. It is amazing how this focus has made such a difference. Instead of my wife and family feeling that I am not giving them enough time, which always raises its head when I have to go out for a committee meeting or football activity, they now feel there is balance and the arguments about not having enough family time have all but gone. It is so important to consider your family in everything you do and if you don’t make time for it in your routines then you just don’t make time for it.

Service to others is a key part of The Harada Method. It helps keep you balanced and to improve yourself by supporting those around you. This service can be within your family, through an outside organization, like a charity, within your workplace, or a combination of any of these.

Another area where The Harada Method has really helped me is my exercise program which has seen me shed a couple of unwanted kilos from my waistline. Throughout my life I have always been very active, although in recent years I have been going through the motions of exercise more with a focus on being able to eat whatever I want when I want. I am now much more focused on eating well, having variety in my exercise and having a purpose to why I am doing it. This has given me the sense of wanting to do exercise rather than needing to do it and gives me energy and focus to actually do something every day.

Working with Brenton

From the very early stages of our first phone call, I felt a connection with Brenton. Apart from our names being very similar, we also had very similar views on people, their development, team building and leadership. Talking with a like-minded individual was so refreshing.  It seems a bit of a cliché but it was like fate had brought us together and this was a business relationship that would blossom.

Brenton has been coaching me through the Harada journey for several months and I look forward to every coaching session with childish excitement. Conversation always flows and I know Brenton’s number 1 priority is to help me achieve my goal. Brenton has helped me think more deeply about my goal and what I need to do to achieve it. I never feel like he is telling me what I should do but he is guiding me so I get there on my own merits. This ensures the key focus of self-reliance is being achieved. Brenton has always been very generous with his time and responsive to any question I have on a variety of subject matters – not just Harada related.

Since working with Brenton and using the Harada Method, I have worked out a clear goal and I have a structured plan to get there.  This plan is totally reliant on me doing what I say I will do. Brenton provides me with all the support I need to keep focused and motivated on this journey. I am becoming more self-reliant everyday. I know that I am the only one who can stop me achieving my goal.

If you want to be the very best you can be in your chosen field, I have no doubt that the first key step to taking you there is having a coach like Brenton guide you through the self-reliant journey of The Harada Method. You won’t regret it. I agree that it is not easy to get others to appreciate it and it frustrates me a lot when people just don’t get it. – Brendan Rogers, Business Improvement Manager, Business Improvement, Sydney | Australia

Read More

  Brendan (Sydney Australia)  Nov 28 2014   How did I become interested in Harada? In my 12 months of doing Business Improvement full time I was thinking about how anybody can learn the various Lean tools but the key was engaging the people. I wondered how I might be able to do that better. [...]

About HaradaBlog.org: Mr. Bodek, who was once called "Mr. Productivity" by Industry Week Magazine and "Mr. Lean" by Quality Progress Magazine, said his most powerful discovery was the way Toyota and other Japanese companies opened the infinite creative potential often lying dormant inside every single worker. links back to the book site

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