the Toyota way

26Dec06

“That’s one of the subtle but distinctive characteristics of a Toyota factory. The supervisors and managers aren’t “bosses” in any traditional American sense. Their job is to find ways to do the work better:more efficiently, more effectively.”

“Lean manufacturing and continuous improvement have been around for more than a quarter-century. But the incessant, almost mindless repetition of those phrases camouflages the real power behind the ideas. Continuous improvement is tectonic. By constantly questioning how you do things, by constantly tweaking, you don’t outflank your competition next quarter. You outflank them next decade.”

“You can’t solve problems unless you admit them. At Toyota, there is a presumption of imperfection. Perfection is a fine goal, but improvement is much more realistic, much more human. Not a 15% improvement by the end of the quarter, a 1% improvement by the end of the month.”

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