Extreme Toyota: Radical Contradictions That Drive Success at the World's Best Manufacturer
These consumers, especially women, are more educated than any previous generation; more ethnically diverse; more than 1/3 nonwhite; and optimistic about their income prospects including economic support from parents.
Their overexposure to contemporary marketing techniques makes them more demanding as consumers and more skeptical than other generations about the messages in television commercials and magazine advertisements. They are also more sophisticated in their awareness of technology and their expectations of design, quality & safety stds in a car. The car is a symbol of self expression for more people than is was for previous generations.
Capturing the interest of this highly attractive segment was not easy; This demographic strived to be different, not only from previous generations, but from one individual to another. Is also demanded to be entertained and to be given an opportunity to explore, while expecting hassle free products and services in addition to the usual product performance criteria. Innovation was the order of the day. Rethink the conventional business model in all respects.
For the 1st time in its history, the Toyota Engineering Department shared vehicle drawing with the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association in the US before launch to encourage independent accessory manufacturers and tuners (who modify cars) to develop accessories.
The Global Kn Center makes a repository of best practices worldwide available; it encouraged distributors around the world to use its educational programs, but the decision to do so is up to each distributor.
By not forcing the adoption of specific practices, they ensure distributors retain the flexibility to use the documented best practices as they best see fit; allowing local best practices to grow into global best solutions tailored to each local market.
The company’s relentless pursuit & dissemination of the values
Founders 4 Philosophies
1) Tomorrow will be better than today
2) Everybody should win
3) Customer 1st, dealers 2nd, manufacturer last
4) Go & see things for yourself, first hand
Toyota has persevered through hardship, and over the long term, b/c of a naivete in the mindset of people who see obstacles only as challenges; they genuinely believe that they can overcome all obstacles.
Hence, obstacles become a source of power to energize people, who are, by nature, optimists at heart. This naïve optimism leads the co. to set impossible goals, and it has been passed down from the founders of Toyota, whose slogans are filled with this spirit of naivete and optimism.
“Endure a 100 times, strengthen yourself a 1000 times, and you will complete your tasks in short order.”
“To do what you believe is right, to do what you believe is good, and doing these things right then and in a way is a calling from on high. Thus, do it boldly, do as you believe, do as you are.”
The point is, you have to be brave and persevere whether there is opposition or not; you have to think hard and come up with solutions until you succeed, and once you have done your best, most thorough work, you will find things turning on their heads, and that becomes a source of power.
Continuous improvement is the habit of wanting to do a little better every day by eliminating waste and continuously becoming more efficient. It is an attitude of never being satisfied with the status quo, which is why you persistently conduct experiments.
We must discard our narrow elf interests and endeavor to serve the greater good. Neglect your duties and you’ll bringruin upon yourselves; fulfill your responsibilities and you’ll find yourselves enhanced. If each person makes the most sincere effort in his assigned position, the entire co. can achieve great things.
To contribute to society through ( the manufacturing of automobiles).
Factory workers as Knowledge workers
There is a wisdom of experience which can only be gained on the factory floor; expect every assembly line worker to direct their wisdom toward originating ideas for imrpvoing base costs, quality, and safety.
The job of the line manager is to create an environment in which line workers easily make suggestions and are supported to implement those suggestions.
We understand that we are just not all that smart; we have to work very hard. We have to rely on other people to do the very best job they can, every day of the week and every month of the year, in order for us to achieve mutual success.
Customer 1st, dealers 2nd, manufacturer last:
The priority in distributing the benefits of (_____) sales should be in the order of the customer 1st, the (_____) dealer, and lastly manufacturer. This is the best approach for winning the trust of customers and dealers and ultimately brings growth to the manufacturer.
The contribution of the team is greater than the sum of the contributions of each individual
One team, one aim, working together
Every team member has the responsibility to stop the line each time they see something that is below standard. That’s how we put the responsibility for quality in the hands of our team members. They feel the responsibility for quality in the hands of our team members. They feel the responsibility; they feel the power. They know that they count.
Who do you think is paying your salary? The company is not. It’s the customers. They buy our (_____), and the company uses that $ to make the next car than then sells it. Your salary comes from that transaction.
Since it’s the customer who pays our salary, our responsibility is to make the prouct they want, when they want it, and deliver quality that satisfies them.
Do it right from the start by providing the finst car ever built with the finest sales network, treating each customer as though they were ‘a guest in our home.’ Every dealer, mgr, & associate had to sign on the covenant, and it became common practice for all everyone to sign it once their training became complete.
1st Lexus recall
- each reported failure had occurred only once, without incident or injury; decision made to recall
- all 8000 car owners were sent letters signed personally
- production of replacement parts was ramped up & service personnel were trained
…proceeded to pick up every car directly from each owner’s home, providing a free replacement car. The repaired car was returned washed and with a full tank of gas. For customers in Alaska, personnel from the nearest area office made house calls by plane to make the repairs. All repairs were covered by Lexus, and completed in 20 days.
- dealers were thanked for the recall
If you have not seen something 1st hand, then your view of that thing is not credible. Top execs are the 1st to ask ‘have you seen it?’
Root causes of problems are revealed by on site investigation & inquiry.
Command respect by walking the talk
How can you expect to do your job without getting your hands dirty.
Try to solve problems with your own hands.
Before you say you can’t do something, try it
Never try to design something without 1st gaining at least 3 yrs hands on experience.
1) Why did the robot stop?
B/c the circuit was overloaded, causing a fuse to blow
2) Why was the circuit overloaded?
B/c there was insufficient lubrication on the bearings
3) Why was there insufficient lubrication on the bearings?
B/c the oil pump on the robot was not circulating sufficient oil
4) Why was the pump not circulating sufficient oil?
B/c the pump intake was clogged with metal shavings
5) Why was the intake clogged with metal shavings?
B/c there was no filter on the pump
Everybody know everything
The culture of communication is open & personal
Info flows freely up and down the hierarchy and across functional & seniority levels, extending outside the org. to suppliers, customers & dealers.
Personal relationships are of primary importance.
Email cannot replace real, human communication in the flesh. This requires cultivation of the skill of listening intently to all opinions in an environment of free and open exchange & in face to face interaction.
The result is an accumulation of relationships in an analog web that in many ways outperforms even the most advanced computer.
How the nerve system enables everyone to know everything
1) Open and lateral dissemination of know how
2) Freedom to voice contrary opinions
3) Frequent face to face interaction
4) Making tacit knowledge explicit in the Toyota way
5) Formal and informal organizational support mechanisms
Yokoten – unfold or open sideways
Give credit to the person or unit that came up with the idea 1st, but it is okay to steal best practices from others or have our best practices stolen by others.
Create an open and flat environment by having everyone work together in a large room with no partitions. (obeya)
Posting all information on the walls helps improve communication, and b/c we’re human, if we share a common awareness of the issues, we will move in the same direction.
Everyone has to feel free to voice contrary opinions to top management & headquarters.