The Harada Method: Trainer Interview - Steve Mitchell


Earlier this year at LAST Conference, we were lucky enough to have the "Godfather of Lean" Norman Bodek, dial in at the beginning of the second morning and speak to all 650 of the attendees about his story, Agile, Harada and all things Lean. You can watch highlights of this here or at the bottom of this article.

Coming up on Saturday, 28th of October, Steve Mitchell will be running our inaugural Harada Method Training here in Melbourne, Australia. Norm will also be dialling in over video conference during the day to help facilitate a part of the learning.

The Harada method was developed by Takashi Harada, he spent years studying the worlds best sports coaches and eventually developed his own method. He has since started his own training company in Tokyo and trained over 70,000 people at over 300 companies.

Norman Bodek, had Mr. Harada's training material translated into English, co-authored a new book with Mr. Harada, and has taught over 1000 people in the West the Harada Method. He has taught the Harada Method at Portland State University and also certification workshops in Portland, Oregon.

Personally, I'm a big believer in taking a more holistic view at yourself and how to organise your life in a way that has you improving and growing each day. I think we all have an opportunity to advance our careers or personal lives by taking a more disciplined approach to what we do across all facets of our lives.

As always, if you have any questions or comments please don't hesitate to reach out to me on ringo.thomas@tabar.com.au

You need to want “it”, whatever “it” is. You need to have the desire within yourself to improve and grow. You have to be honest with yourself about where you’re at and what you’re doing.
— Steve Mitchell

Ringo: What is this course about, what is the Harada Method?

Steve: The Harada Method is a system to get the most out of yourself. It provides you the tools to become self-reliant and achieve life goals instead of just dreaming about them. It's massive in Japan but barely known about in the West.

Ringo: How did you first come across it?

Steve: By accident, I read Norm Bodek's autobiography called Kaikaku. I loved the book so much that I read another book by Norman which happened to be The Harada Method. Subsequently, I went and trained with him for a week in Portland, Oregon.

Ringo: How was that as an experience?

Steve: Amazing. Norman is not just the "Godfather of Lean", he is a master teacher and a wonderful man. I learned so much from the other attendees too. With events like these it’s not just the content that provides value, it’s the people in the room.

Ringo: Is there a particular value set you think is important as an individual to get the most value out of this course?

Steve: You need to want "it", whatever "it" is. You need to have the desire within yourself to improve and grow. You have to be honest with yourself about where you’re at and what you’re doing. We do a level of introspection to understand your past and present to help shape your future.

Ringo: Tell me more about some of the things you’ll do across the day?

Steve: We’ll explore not only the tools contained in the method, but activities to provoke reflection on what’s important to you as an individual and what may bring more meaning in your life. This involves anything that you want to set a goal for -  whether it's in your current job, to create a new career, or to improve aspects of your private life.

Ringo: What are the key learnings of this one day course?

Steve: To get the most out of the method you have to use the method. The day is about learning this method and the principles and origins behind it, but also practicing the method in a supportive environment.

Ringo: How would an attendee know this was worthwhile for them?

Steve: Follow your intuition. If it feels like it’s right, it probably is. My intuition has never let me down.

Ringo: From a business or management perspective, why would you send your people?

Steve: The most important measure for agility and business success is employee engagement. By empowering people to set their own goals in alignment with company goals they will be more engaged, motivated and productive.

Ringo: Any final comments?

Steve: Life is what you make of it. Choose your own adventure and run with it.