World Quality Day: Going to Gemba with the Fortive Business System

A group of employees at Fluke participate in a Kaizen as part of the Fortive Business System.

As an employee of Fortive, you are likely to hear the words “go to Gemba” frequently in your career. You will hear this advice for almost any challenge you may face – from improving quality to setting priorities on what features to deliver in the next release of software. In our culture of continuous improvement, known as the Fortive Business System, going to Gemba is at the heart of who we are and how we deliver breakthrough quality, day after day.

So, what exactly does “go to Gemba” mean? Simply translated, it means go to the real place – the place where you can observe, interact and develop deep empathy for our customers or employees. It means immersing yourself in the real environment where the work is done so that you truly understand what customers value and how you enable customer success.

Like the old adage, “to truly understand someone you need to walk a mile in their shoes” – going to Gemba gives us the opportunity to take our shoes off and put on those of another. The Fortive Business System provides us with a robust set of tools to help us gather rich customer insight when we do this, insights that fuel our innovation and ability to deliver solutions that create real customer value.

“Our teams are relentlessly focused on driving improvement and winning through FBS. We continue to demonstrate the power and use of FBS across our company – from improving product development to a leadership offering that builds extraordinary teams. We will continue to drive results through our passion to always be better.”

Kirsten Paust, VP FBS Office

Today we recognize World Quality Day and all the professionals who play a critical role in delivering exceptional quality to our customers. For us, that means recognizing those that use the Fortive Business System to truly and deeply understand customers at Gemba and to build and deliver breakthrough solutions that deliver real value.

Across our company, teams are going to Gemba every single day – to learn, to immerse themselves in the real work, to build deep empathy for our customers. These teams return from their time at Gemba energized and passionate about delivering breakthrough quality that exceeds our customers’ expectations and they work tirelessly to do just that. On this important day, we applaud our teams and their commitment to our customers. And for those that are interested in how they can join in this journey of using the Fortive Business System to exceed our customers’ expectations – why of course, Go to Gemba!

Kirsten Paust is currently the Vice President of the Fortive Business System Office. In this role, Kirsten is responsible for the development and deployment of the full set of FBS tools and processes to help Fortive Operating Companies increase and accelerate results. Prior to this role, Kirsten was the VP, Growth in the Danaher Business System Office. Under Kirsten’s leadership, the DBSO team built new tools, including Transformative Marketing and Funnel Management. These tools have helped a variety of Danaher Operating Companies deliver above market growth rates.

With 14 years of experience at Danaher, Kirsten brings a deep understanding of FBS and a passion for continuous improvement to the FBS role. Kirsten joined Gilbarco Veeder-Root in 2003 as a Product Manager and held progressively large commercial roles. In 2009, Kirsten joined Fluke where she took on a role as Factory Manager. Following this role, Kirsten took over as General Manager for a division of Fluke.

Prior to Danaher, Kirsten was a consultant with Deloitte Consulting, specializing in strategy and sales and marketing execution. Kirsten has an MBA from Harvard Business School and BA in mathematics and Economics.

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