The Toyota Way

The Toyota Way is a set of principles and behaviors that underlie the Toyota Motor Corporation’s managerial approach and production system. Toyota first summed up its philosophy, values and manufacturing ideals in 2001, calling it “The Toyota Way 2001”. It consists of principles in two key areas: continuous improvement, and respect for people.

There are 14 principles that constitute the Toyota Way, organized in four broad categories:

1) Long-Term Philosophy

1. Base your management decisions on a long-term philosophy, even at the expense of short-term financial goals.

2) The Right Process Will Produce the Right Results

2. Create continuous process flow to bring problems to the surface.
3. Use “pull” systems to avoid overproduction.
4. Level out the workload. (Work like the tortoise, not the hare.)
5. Build a culture of stopping to fix problems, to get quality right the first time.
6. Standardized tasks are the foundation for continuous improvement and employee empowerment.
7. Use visual control so no problems are hidden.
8. Use only reliable, thoroughly tested technology that serves your people and processes.

3) Add Value to the Organization by Developing Your People and Partners

9. Grow leaders who thoroughly understand the work, live the philosophy, and teach it to others.
10. Develop exceptional people and teams who follow your company’s philosophy.
11. Respect your extended network of partners and suppliers by challenging them and helping them improve.

4) Continuously Solving Root Problems Drives Organizational Learning

12. Go and see for yourself to thoroughly understand the situation.
13. Make decisions slowly by consensus, thoroughly considering all options; implement decisions rapidly.
14. Become a learning organization through relentless reflection and continuous improvement.

Summing-up: In the Toyota Way, the workers are active in making improvement suggestions. It’s the people who bring the system to life: working, communicating, resolving issues, and growing together. It encourages, supports, and in fact demands employee involvement.

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