Promises to be a superb book!
“This promises to be a superb book! Its author, Katie Anderson, is one of the few Westerners (not living in Japan) who — in my view — grasps the essence of Toyota, partly thanks to her friendship and collaboration with one of its early leaders, Isao Yoshino.
From the author’s blogs about her experiences in Japan and at Toyota and its subsidiaries, and from her conversations with her Sensei, Mr. Yoshino, I can vouch that she brings to life some of the essential features of Toyota. In particular, she describes vividly through examples what has largely been missed by the Western ‘lean’ extended community — that the bottom line is not about lean and nimble techniques and tools (or the agile and responsive development of reliable cars), but it’s ultimately about the empowerment and development of its total workforce, the people actually doing the work on the shop floor.
Many Western companies struggle to understand Toyota’s secret of ‘lean,’ still not getting it even though it’s no secret any more. But as Mr. Yoshino says, ‘The only secret to Toyota is its attitude toward learning.’ Many organizations could learn to learn if they have the right mindset; indeed, it’s about learning to lead in order to be able to lead to learn.”