Toyota didn’t get to be the world’s largest auto manufacturer by ignoring the details. Its kaizen (continuous improvement) approach can teach any organization a lot about quality, productivity and taking care of business.
The two main pillars of Toyota’s approach boil down to: 1) respect for people and 2) continuous improvement; constant and never-ending improvement in all areas. So say Peter Paul Roosen and Tatsuya Nakagawa, co-founders of Atomica Creative Group, who sum up Toyota’s lessons this way:
- Create manual systems first, then use technology as a tool to assist the process
- Emphasize constant learning
- Eliminate – don’t just reduce waste
- Build quality into everything.
- Create systems to respect and treat partners well
- Work with others but maintain your core competencies
- Chose friends and associates carefully. Associate with people who can help you and that you can help.
The Toyota process is a hybrid of best practices, say Roosen and Nakagawa. No wonder Toyota’s latest great outcome has been to become the world’s first mass producer of hybrid automobiles, winning over half the world market.
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