Tag Archives: Toyota

Book Review: Toyota Under Fire

 

“Toyota Under Fire” by Jeffrey Liker and Timothy Ogden is a highly recommended book for leaders, Lean-thinkers, and people interested in media criticism.

I initially thought it would solely be about the recall crisis which NASA has already vindicated the company.  The book also details the challenges faced by Toyota during the recession.  The authors provide candid information about how the company could have done better and show how they turned the crisis into an opportunity to become stronger.

The final chapter transforms Toyota’s story during the crisis into lessons other organizations can use to help them be prepared for a crisis.

The book helped understand the power of the Toyota Way and reaffirms why they are a company to be admired.  There are many great insights into the thinking of the people in the organization.  Some of my favorites were about how deeply respect for people is practiced, the examples of how important it is to be close to the problem to be able to improve it, the importance of culture, and how the five why’s were used to accept responsibility of the problem.

For those interested in media criticism, this book provides a lot of data that was distorted or omitted in the news during the recalls.  The examples of sensationalized reports with no follow-through once disproven will serve as a reminder to take what we consume from the news with a grain of salt.

One thing I found surprising in the book is that many cited sources were from bloggers and websites.  Since the traditional media seemed slanted against Toyota, these other sources appear more neutral.

Liker and Ogden’s book show how Toyota practices the Toyota Way.  It is not just about theory and philosophy but a demonstration of how it was recently done.  This was an excellent book.

Disclosure: A review copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher.

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Filed under Book Review, Business, Change Management, Communication, customers, Five Whys, Gemba, Hansei, Improve With Lean, Kaizen, Learn Leadership, Learning Organization, Problem Solving, Quality, Reflection, Respect For People, Root Cause

Growth Versus Development Warning

“We pursued growth over the speed at which we were able to develop our people and our organization, and we should sincerely be mindful of that.” – Akio Toyoda (2/23/10)     Quote obtained from Jon Miller.

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Extreme Toyota Book

Hal from Reforming Project Management posted about a book I haven’t seen yet but it sounds fascinating.  It is called EXTREME TOYOTA by Emi Osono, Norihiko Shimizu, and Hirotaka Takeuchi.  I like how Hal lists the six forces that feed the tension at Toyota.  Check it out!

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Great Toyota In Japan Story

If you haven’t read it yet, go to Kevin Meyer’s post JKE Day 1: Toyota Kyushu – The Manufacturing Ballet.  His reporting of what he sees at a Toyota plant in Japan is fascinating.  I love the part about how problems are reported frequently and dealt with quickly.  His story should inspire any lean improvement leader.

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Toyota Trouble

The Check-Engine light came on my Toyota last Friday.  We brought the car into a Toyota service center on the same morning.  They advised us the needed part will not be in until the following Tuesday (2 biz days later).

I was surprised by the wait time for the part.  A car service center reminds me of hospital service.  Patients do not want to wait two days for something to arrive before they can be helped.  I am not advocating inventory, but their parts supplier sure were not ready “just in time”.

Everything I read about Toyota talks about the great partnership with their suppliers.  I am starting to think this is just on the production side of their business.  The service side still needs a little work!

To be fair, the service center gave us a courtesy car and were incredibly friendly.  The repair is done and the car works great now.  Being new to TPS, I expected a faster part delivery.

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