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The term yokoten refers to the sharing of best practices and learning laterally throughout an organization. Could you imagine if the news did not report anything they learned? What if the radio never shared insights based on experience and what if the internet was controlled by one brain? Well we probably would not know about a lot of things.
While the term yokoten is mostly associated with "horizontal deployment" it is a much broader sharing than just strategically. The term can also be interpreted in a technical, methodical and philosophical way. When the principle of yokoten is effectively embraced by many, yokoten can transform a process, organization, online community and the world. Let's use 5S as a simplified example. It is quite common for areas of an organization to take a "liking" to 5S, at least in the early stages. As teams, departments and employees mimic and improve upon the original 5S (first performed internally) they not only gain the same benefits, but they gather new and innovative ways of improving the way the 5S system is executed. Now let's imagine some areas of an organization decided that they were not going to wait for others to notice the successful implementation of their 5S and so, like good students of an art, they shared what they did with other areas of the organization. Knowledge would then spread far and wide... Fast.
Of course we all want the positive benefits of improved performance but yokoten also contributes to a positive open culture. Here are a few ways you can begin using the powerful principle of yokoten in your organization: