The Toyota Technique to Lean Leadership – Book Review

Lean leadership is considered the crucial ingredient that’s typically missed when firms try to implement lean. This book defines Lean Leadership and offers steerage to those who want to implement lean in a sustainable way. The book is written by Jeffrey K. Liker who wrote traditional Lean book “The Toyota Means” and Gary L. Convis who was the first GM of NUMMI and has remodeled organisations with Lean.

The book starts by giving an image of the challenges that Toyota has confronted from 2008. First the worldwide recession and high oil costs, then the automotive recall disaster and eventually the large Japanese earthquake and tsunami. It shows how Toyota reacted to these challenges and came out stronger than ever. It shows the process of reflection and adjustment.

Lean initiativesMost lean implementations are analogues to a food regimen where one focuses on shedding pounds for a defined period, solely to put it all back on when the initiative has been completed. These time bounded workouts to implement lean will not be sustainable. This book presents a clear image on the maintainable method to Lean. To stay healthy an individual cannot just diet for a short time, however must adjust their way of life forever. In the same means corporations have quick term initiatives and these provide advantages for a time but then they have an inclination to revert back. To have long run success corporations must live lean. These changes begin with the folks and the leaders.

Lean leadership states that “if there is a recipe for Toyota’s success, it’s a deep, time-consuming, and costly investment in developing everybody in the group, and truly believing that your staff are you most valuable resource. The function of the leader in this context is to be open to the sort of self-growth wanted to domesticate her own leadership expertise, develop subordinates so that they develop and improve, and remove obstacles and set challenges and targets in order that teams at all ranges of the organization can contribute to toyota way lean leadership’s steady improvement and attainment of its long run goals.”

The book offers by telling tales what is required to develop lean leaders.

Chapter 1 shows the values that Toyota follows and the leadership improvement model that evolved from these values.

Chapter 2 paints a picture of how Toyota transformed a poorly performing present American auto plant in 1984 to one of the best plant in North America. In parallel it covers how Gary was hired and how his leadership was developed over this period.

Chapter 3 goes on to cowl the Toyota Manufacturing Kentucky and its transformation beneath Garys leadership.

Chapter four explains how self improvement and the event of others led to continuous improvement in North America.

Chapter 5 outlines Hoshin Kanri as the process Toyota uses to handle the direction of the company, align goals and control deviation from these goals.

Chapter 6 is an inspirational story of how Gary brought Dana company back from bankruptcy, showing how the lessons within the earlier chapters might be applied to firms outside Toyota.

Chapter 7 gives advice to firms desirous to be taught from the Toyota way of Lean Leadership.


14 September 2018

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