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The Toyota Way - A Great Read and a Great Way to Do Business

I wanted to start this blog post separately from Dan’s blog about the Hyundai bailout…

I would rather instead about Toyota, specifically The Toyota Way. Like all car manufacturer's they are offering specials, but nothing as ridiculous as Hyundai. Toyota is a fascinating company to study, and “The Toyota Way" even more so. I cannot do The Toyota Way justice so please read "The Toyota Way" by Jeffrey Liker, once you read it you'll discover why this company is as successful as it has been, even though it has posted a lose for the first time in 41 years! While I have a strong understanding of Quality Management, the 14 principles are at a level that will require many more years of study to master.
I wonder how the 14 principles of The Toyota Way are applicable to the members of this forum. The 14 Principles are:

1. Base your management decisions on a long-term philosophy, even at the expense of short-term financial goals
2. Create continuous process flow to bring problems to the surface
3. Use “pull” systems to avoid overproduction
4. Level out the workload (heijunka) (work like the tortoise not the hare)
5. Build a culture of stopping production to fix problems, to get quality right the first time
6. Standardize tasks are the foundation for continuous improvement and employee empowerment
7. Use visual controls so no problems are hidden
8. Use only reliable, thoroughly tested technology that serves your people and processes
9. Grow leaders who thoroughly understand the work, live the philosophy, and teach it to others
10. Develop exceptional people and teams who follow your company’s philosophy
11. Respect your extended network of partners and suppliers by challenging them and helping them improve
12. Go and see for yourself to thoroughly understand the situation (genchi genbutsu)
13. Make decisions slowly by consensus, thoroughly considering all options; implement decisions rapidly (nemawashi)
14. Become a learning organization through relentless reflection (hansei) and continuous improvement (kaizen)

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Comment by Paul Giganti on January 21, 2009 at 12:12pm
Today's news: Toyota outsells GM globally!
Comment by Paul Giganti on January 20, 2009 at 10:15am

Toyota has made "The Toyota Way" available to their competitors including GM, guess they didn't hear the call.

Group Leader
Comment by Dan Miller on January 19, 2009 at 8:49pm
Paul -- yeah, I love this list. And I agree -- few other auto manufacturers have adhered to all the principles here. Personally, I'd love to go back to being able to have an ordinary person start building a Tucker, Bricklin, DeLorean or Nash. The "big business" of manufacturing became more important than providing a great product.

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