9.21.2011

What Toyota Team Members Have to Say

Productivity Press recently published a very special book -- One Team on All Levels: Stories from Toyota Team Members, Second Edition. This book, written by Tim Turner and his colleagues at Toyota's Georgetown, Kentucky facility, is far from another technical explanation of the Toyota Production System (TPS) -- It is rather a clear illustration of the culture it creates.

One such insightful recollection was provided by Raymond Bryant, an assistant general manager in the assembly department. He writes:

We often say that the most valuable resource we have is our workforce, the team members. I don’t just believe this, I know it.

Our company functions on the basic principals of the Toyota Production System (TPS). The Toyota Way guides us as we go about doing daily and longer term operations. When asked, "What is TPS?" the reference is usually to the tools widely talked about (andons, kanbans, etc.). As one of the many students of TPS (we all are still studying and learning), I have come to the conclusion that the success of TPS is in the commitment of our workforce to pursue it.

The tools are easily copied and put into place. They are, for all practical purposes, simple. The ability to understand and use them is equally as simple. The commitment to use them seems to be the struggling point for many organizations. Why? This is the "million dollar question."

I believe that our success is in the very simple understanding of what TPS really is. This I would define as:
1. Always doing the right thing.
2. Always knowing that you can do better.

The significance is in the "simplicity" of these two concepts. All of our workforce, each team member, can understand, make decisions, and feel proud of these two guiding thoughts.

Pulling the andon is simply "doing the right thing." Alerting your staff or assistant manager when a problem has come up in a project is also done for the same basic reason. The one making the decision to notify and possibly seek help, along with the one that is receiving the news and/or request both know that this is the "right thing" and expected in our culture. This naturally carries beyond our work life into our personal life.
We sadly lost a team member some time ago in an automobile accident. Along with the strong support you might expect to see of the family during the days after this tragedy, many of the team members and leaders gathered together several weeks later to complete a home project that he had started. This was the "right thing to do."

My role is pretty basic in the grand scheme of things:
1. Setting clear goals that, if met, equal success (this requires face-to-face discussions to clarify and provide the why behind them) approving the ideas and methods suggested on how to reach those goals (this requires even more discussions, primarily listening, coaching, and the willingness to see many other points of view).
2. Supplying the support and/or resources needed (this really requires the highest amount of listening skill, because the secret is knowing when not to give input).

A successful manager knows not "when to say something," but when "not to." Thousands of minds, all working to "do the right thing." Everyone understanding that "we can always do better."

What are you thoughts of Raymond's ideas? Have any of you visited Toyota's facility in Kentucky?  Have any of you experienced Toyota's leadship firsthand?

17 comments:

Gary Irland said...

A characteristic of Toyota's approach that gets little press is their idea system. It allows (requires?) all employees to submit improvement ideas. These ideas are between the submitter and their supervisor and do not require a bureaucracy to get results. This is the "thousands of base hits" approach that defines a true continuous improvement organization.

Toyota Logistics said...

Good post - Good blog - Great article . I love it so much , you can explain so clear about Toyota company culture. Thank for share the valuable poast

Supply Chain Management said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Liver purchased in another state. See also: best custom dissertation writing a spin on prohibition-era speakeasies.

website said...

Due to the success of the Toyota production philosophy's predictions many of these methods have been copied by other manufacturing companies, although mostly unsuccessfully.

assignmenthero.co.uk said...

This post is awesome! Thanks to the author.

Harding Jamie said...

I worship the way to be trained from beginning to end this way and I would like to thank the admin because he/she did a polite job over here. The content helps me a lot to carry out by workings. I highly recommend this blog site.

Rumi Afrin said...

Wow!!! Nice post. essay shark I searching this kind of post :)

Mon Pakhi said...

I easily have a glimpse here and appear pleasing to search out this periodical. Made content writing hand and extremely cooperative website. I desire most of we are inclined to joined countries bureau locality unit to search out these procedures of things, here we will observe everything. I’m with the content tribute and do esteem him as a decent supplier. Thanks for your work and you too.vpn client

http://royal-dissertation.com/ said...

Oh! Amazing employment with the editorial . I locate few helps over here related by this post to accomplish my task nicely. I highly recommend this. Thanks a lot………

Mon Pakhi said...

This is the first instant I have glimpsed your content and do like to notify you – it is really nice to glimpse and I appreciate your hard work. But if you did it in a easy way that would be really pleasant. But over all I highly suggested you and certain will delay for more mails like this. Thank you so much. auto title loans st. louis

check cashing said...

To initiate with the first line of my commentary – I do resembling to award a large-scale thanks to the blog tribute. If reality be notified it is a great work by him and I discovered a good facilitate by his/her impressive data. I just seem like to notify, delight stay it up your work. Sometimes I will check with you are posting and updating. Looking ahead to your more mails. auto title loans

mack jon said...

This is the major instant I even have glimpsed your content and do favour to notify you – it's very satisfying to ascertain and that i realise your onerous work. while if you foreseen did it in an exceedingly clear-cut means that may be very satisfying. whereas over all I exceedingly counseled you and affirmative can anticipate supplemented mails like this. Thanks you most. auto title loans

mack jon said...

To start with the major line of my detail – I do adore to furnish an marvellous because of the periodical scrounging. really its aide degree gigantic work by him and that i found out out a very good help by his/her immense in degree. I effortlessly need to propose, large delight sustain it up and doing all your work. routinely i will be proficient to verify with your posting and change. endeavouring ahead to your a allotment of mails. payday loans

william max said...

An insider is one who has data around an organization and makes an exchange dependent upon advantaged data. This undermines the Surprise Electrician confidence individuals have in the business and damages moguls who don't have entry to the same data.

addysmith92 said...

Hi there, You have done an incredible job. I’ll certainly digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I am sure they’ll be benefited from this website.
pixeldreamer.org |

www.projectix.co.uk |

www.reseau-mpp-idf.org |

http://www.sebrschools.org |

socialibrium.co.uk |

http://www.stoneygatecollege.org |

www.tateblog.co.uk |

www.unbearable.biz |

http://www.duracelldirect.org |

http://www.verstodigital.co.uk |

addysmith92 said...

It's worth pointing out that MVC is the MVC that we know from desktop apps and can be applied to client-side easily.
http://www.schoolnark.com |

www.onestopautomarket.com |

ifoundaschool.com |

gatewaycanyonairtour |

http://www.autogas-scotland.com |