Obeya:10 tips you need to get your team onboard

How to get your team along in the Obeya method

Do you want to start with Obeya but don’t know how to get your team on board? When you consider introducing the Leading with Obeya method within your team or organization, it can be a challenge to get everyone on board.

Here are ten tips to make this process smooth and effective. This helps you to align with the specific needs of your team. Where possible, we also provide links with each tip where you can go to take a step.

1. Listen and observe closely what your team needs

It’s essential to have a clear picture of what you aim to achieve with your team before introducing solutions like Obeya. A mutual understanding of the challenges and goals within the team is crucial for gaining support. Start by organizing an open dialogue or retrospective with your team. This not only creates a solid foundation for improvement but also increases the support needed to start working differently, as with the Leading with Obeya (LWO) method, for example. You can also do the Leading with Obeya self-scan and compare your results to see if there’s something to gain for you with this method.

2. Show the benefits of Obeya

It’s important that the team understands what the introduction of Obeya can mean for them. By clearly communicating its benefits, such as improved transparency and efficiency, it becomes easier to motivate everyone. In 2023, a survey was conducted among all teams that had been using Obeya for 6 months or longer.

The top 5 improvements identified were:

  1. More effective meetings: Improvements in meeting efficiency and productivity, making them more focused and productive.
  2. Better collaboration, less working in silos: An increase in teamwork and collaboration across departments, reducing isolated work.
  3. Clearer progress on goals and performance: Enhancements in tracking and understanding progress towards goals and overall performance.
  4. More effective decision-making: A clearer, structured approach to analyzing information and making informed decisions.
  5. Clearly assigned responsibilities: Greater clarity in assigned responsibilities, leading to better accountability and smoother execution of projects and tasks. Discuss these benefits with your team to see if they feel a need for them.

3. Organize an introduction workshop or presentation

Introducing Obeya involves changes and requires a certain time investment from the team. A workshop or presentation can provide an inspiring first encounter, allowing the team to experience what Obeya can mean. This aids everyone in understanding what they are starting with. Through the interactive format, often conducted with an Obeya specialist, there is also space for questions, feedback, and discussion with the team. The Obeya specialist can also bring practical examples from other teams, which greatly aids in understanding and generally creates support within the team.

Want to know more about the possibilities for such a presentation or workshop? Click here to get in touch with one of our LWO partner organizations.

For a more accessible option, watch the short video (8 minutes) explanation by Tim Wiegel here.

4. Gift the book

For those in your team who like to dive deeper into the material before starting, the book “Leading with Obeya” can be an excellent gift. It provides a thorough explanation of the method and can be a great way to generate enthusiasm.

The book is available in every major bookstore. Good to know: you automatically get a 5% discount on orders of 5 or more books at leadingwithobeya.com.

5. Learn from the experience of others

Sometimes there’s doubt about the practical application of new methods like Obeya. Learning from the experiences of others can show how the method works in practice and what results it can achieve. This can help dispel any doubts. The LWO network features videos and webinars from people sharing their practical experiences.

Click here to view them (with free membership).

6. Take a virtual Obeya tour

Discussing Obeya can be challenging because it’s sometimes hard to visualize. A virtual tour allows team members to see for themselves what an Obeya room looks like and how it functions, clarifying the concept.

You can walk into and look around the virtual Demo Obeya on the LWO Network 24/7. It’s an Obeya based on the case from the book.

7. Deepen your knowledge with the LWO whitepaper

Not everyone has the time or inclination to read an entire book. The LWO whitepaper offers a concise overview of the method’s benefits, perfect for quickly grasping the concept.

The whitepaper will be available soon. Sign up for our newsletter in de footer to keep updated!

8. Dive into the introduction e-learning

For team members who want to learn about Obeya at their own pace and on their own time, the introduction e-learning is ideal. This approximately 45-minute course provides a solid foundation of the method.

Various trainings and e-Learnings are available at leadingwithobeya.com, including an introduction e-Learning coming soon.

9. Join the LWO Network

For access to a wide range of resources, tools, and templates, becoming a free member of the LWO Network is a great solution. The network provides free account access to many of the above-mentioned resources, making it an indispensable resource for anyone wanting to start with Obeya.

10. Make success measurable and agree on evaluations

A final tip that can be crucial in motivating your team to embrace the Obeya method is making success measurable. Defining clear, achievable goals and regularly measuring progress towards these goals can make a world of difference. It allows teams to see the direct impact of their work and the application of the Obeya method.

This increases motivation because the change remains manageable. But it also strengthens trust in the method itself. Celebrating successes, big or small, creates a culture of continuous improvement and recognition.

So, set goals with your team that you aim to achieve with the introduction of Obeya and regularly review progress. This is already integrated into the LWO method, as you will reflect on this every quarter during the quarterly session. Celebrate the successes achieved during these sessions and use them as learning moments for further improvement of your management team’s approach.