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High Five Friday Feature: Dorsey Sherman

Hi Friends,

During April, I am recognizing people who are practicing the Toyota Kata and are making a BIG difference one experiment, one step, one microlearning, one day at a time!

Please join me in celebrating today’s #HFF feature: Dorsey Sherman!

Dorsey Sherman is the Founder of Modèle Consulting. She teaches and coaches organizations to reach their full potential by practicing scientific thinking and strategy deployment. Dorsey models the fifth principle of the Toyota Kata Code - Have a Coach, Be a Coach and that’s why she’s today’s #HighFiveFriday feature.

With over fifteen years of Lean and continuous improvement experience, Dorsey has worked across various environments, including manufacturing, non-profit agencies, hospitals, acute rehab units, physician offices, and behavioral health settings. Dorsey has amassed thousands of coaching hours, teaching and facilitating staff, middle-managers and executives Lean methodology including A3, kaizen events, and strategy deployment.

Dorsey is a compassionate Kata Coach and genuinely cares about the learner. I’ve witnessed her practicing the Coaching Kata first hand when we were participants in one of Tilo Schwarz’s early Kata Coaching Dojo. The Kata Coaching Dojo is a training environment that offers a deliberate way to develop great coaching skills and improve established coaches’ abilities. We’ve worked together as coaches during Kata in the Classroom simulations. And it’s always a delight when she shares a Kata Microlearning or tiny burst of new knowledge as a KataCon presenter.

She reinforces the PDCA (Plan Do Check Act) improvement cycle pattern by asking questions and listening to understand the learner’s thinking pattern. Dorsey is firm yet fosters a coaching environment of trust.

Recently I found myself struggling with numerous obstacles that I perceived were preventing me from reaching my #RootCauseRacism-related target condition. My list of obstacles expanded when I learned about the deadly shooting of Daunte Wright, the racial discrimination investigation at a daycare in Rothwell, GA, everything about the Chauvin trial, a virtual slave auction at Aledo High School in Aledo, TX...and the list goes on.

Frustrated, disheartened, and sad, I shared with Dorsey the primary obstacle preventing me from reaching my next target condition. Dorsey coached me while I was at my threshold of knowledge, the area of uncertainty where I was stuck trying to determine the next step to take to get me a little closer to my #RootCauseRacism target condition. She carefully listened, asked thoughtful questions, and with great compassion--challenged me to examine the actual condition now. By the end of our conversation, I was able to identify one small step I could take to overcome an obstacle.

During the coaching session, did we identify solutions for every social ill associated with structural racism among my lengthy list of obstacles? Of course not, but our conversation gave me a much-needed boost of hope and reminded me of a point Dorsey made during her KataCon 7 keynote, “when compassion for learners and resonance between Coach and Learner is the MOST important thing...anything is possible.”

Dorsey is a great colleague, a compassionate Kata Coach, and a faithful ally.

Let’s give Dorsey a big high five by posting a note of Kudos in the comments. I also strongly encourage you to connect with Dorsey on LinkedIn to learn more about her impactful work. She is definitely a Kata Geek who totally rocks!!!

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