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Starter Kata for Coaching

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Want to be an effective Improvement Kata coach? Starter Kata are practice routines of fundamentals that help you develop new habits of acting and thinking. Establish a baseline of fundamental skills, and then build on it and advance your coaching skill development.

Kata are a starter—establish a baseline and then build on it and advance in your skill development. A common error is thinking of Kata as the recipe of the end game, so we're using the phrase "Starter Kata" to make it more clear. The approach is that people trying to change behaviors and learn new skills benefit from a simpler starting point.

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Starter Kata for Coaching

  1. 1. Rother, Rosenthal, Liker STARTER KATA for Coaching Start at the Beginning By Mike Rother, Mark Rosenthal, and Jeff Liker 1
  2. 2. Rother, Rosenthal, Liker WHAT ARE STARTER KATA? Begin by practicing Starter Kata. Then, as you gain some skill and understanding, you build upon them to suit your situation and develop your own way. The Starter Kata are not the end game—they put you on the road to new skills. Illustration from the Toyota Kata Practice Guide Starter Kata are small, predefined practice routines, or drills, of fundamentals. They help you get started in adopting a new way of acting and thinking. 2
  3. 3. Rother, Rosenthal, Liker The Four-Step Improvement Kata Pattern THE IMPROVEMENT KATA HELPS US DEVELOP SCIENTIFIC-THINKING SKILLS Starter Kata are the Practice Routines Illustration from the Toyota Kata Practice Guide 3
  4. 4. Rother, Rosenthal, Liker A STARTER KATA FOR IMPROVEMENT KATA COACHES - The Five Coaching Kata Questions - • The five questions are the main headings for daily coaching cycles. • The five questions reinforce the pattern of the Improvement Kata. • The questions, and any clarifying questions asked between them, are also prompts to help make the learner’s current thinking visible, so the coach can give feedback tailored to each learner. The main-heading questions are scripted, but additional questions and feedback are not. However, it takes practice to attain IK coaching skill Illustration from the Toyota Kata Practice Guide Card is a free download on the Toyota Kata Website 4
  5. 5. Rother, Rosenthal, Liker 5
  6. 6. Rother, Rosenthal, Liker 1. The Permanent Beginner Doesn’t want to practice Starter Kata, or wants to change them right away. 2. The Implementer Wants to permanently stick with the structured routine of the Starter Kata, rather than seeing them as an initial step in the process of developing new skills. TWO COMMON ERRORS WITH STARTER KATA 6
  7. 7. Rother, Rosenthal, Liker Actual Skill Level Perceived Skill Level TYPICAL PATTERN OF SKILL DEVELOPMENT Time Spent Practicing 7
  8. 8. Rother, Rosenthal, Liker Actual Skill Level Perceived Skill Level TYPICAL PATTERN OF SKILL DEVELOPMENT Time Spent Practicing Caution The less skill we have, the more we tend to overestimate our ability 8
  9. 9. Rother, Rosenthal, Liker Stage 3: DETACH Now you break away from the Starter Kata, while sticking to the underlying principles, because you have internalized them. You use the knowledge you’ve acquired to create your own approaches and develop your own style. Stage 2: FLUENCY In this stage the pattern of the Starter Kata starts getting faster, smoother, and easier. You also come to understand the purpose behind the Starter Kata’s pattern and add your own maneuvers. Stage 1: FOLLOW Practice seems awkward and forced at this point, but don’t deviate from the Starter Kata! The uncomfortable feeling is actually what you should be feeling at this stage. It’s a sign that you are building new neural pathways. TYPICAL STAGES OF SKILL DEVELOPMENT Illustrations from the Toyota Kata Practice Guide 9 Theoretical landmarks, but good to realize it’s a progression
  10. 10. Rother, Rosenthal, Liker CK Stage 3--Detach Listening to the learner and figuring out where to go next CK Stage 2--Fluency Adding clarifying questions, etc. CK Stage 1--Follow Asking the five Coaching Kata questions 8-Minute Video COACHING KATA STAGES OF SKILL DEVELOPMENT In the following video, notice how Coaching Kata (CK) skill progresses the same as practicing any new routine. Once you internalize the CK fundamentals—getting them out of the way by making them more habitual and automatic—you become more able to sense the learner's current thinking and tailor your feedback accordingly. 10 Illustration from the Toyota Kata Practice Guide
  11. 11. Rother, Rosenthal, Liker NOW PRACTICING—RESPONDING TO EACH LEARNER When the questions and their purpose are deeply ingrained, the coach can go off rigid format while maintaining the underlying pattern and can really coach—listening, assessing, and guiding each learner in their skill development. INTERMEDIATE—THINKING ABOUT CONNECTIONS The coach is now actively thinking and assessing the scientific-logic flow of answers. Clarifying questions lead to feedback that helps keep the learner practicing on-pattern. BEGINNER—ASKING THE 5 COACHING KATA QUESTIONS It may feel redundant, but it begins to establish a pattern, needed for habit formation, and prevents bad habits like asking questions that throw the learner off pattern. THE TRAJECTORY OF MARK’S COACHING EXPERIENCE 11
  12. 12. Rother, Rosenthal, Liker WHY DO WE HAVE KATA? A manager thinking about how their people work, and what they are learning Mastering the Starter Kata is not the goal The goal is to develop scientific thinking 12
  13. 13. Rother, Rosenthal, Liker PURPOSE OF TOYOTA KATA Managers Create the creators 13
  14. 14. Rother, Rosenthal, Liker LARGE OR SMALL GOALS IT DOESN’T MATTER It’s the same basic pattern of working—a Meta Skill! • A goal you have not yet reached • Obstacles to that goal • Solutions that don’t yet exist (or you would have already implemented them) • A need to test your ideas No matter what sort of problem solving you’re doing, you’ll have these conditions: Illustration from the Toyota Kata Practice Guide 14
  15. 15. Rother, Rosenthal, Liker 15

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