Kaizen is about people. How we lead… how we improve. It’s about how we engage everybody and their creativity.
The host talks about Toyota working to make things “as efficient as possible,” but there’s more to it than efficiency. There is Safety. Quality. Delivery. Cost.
It is not just about setting a goal. Leaders need to work with people as coaches and facilitators to help make this happen. Leaders need to know when to help… and when to get out of the way.
Masaaki Imai author of the classic books Kaizen: The Key To Japan’s Competitive Success and Gemba Kaizen: A Commonsense, Low-Cost Approach to Management.
He emphasizes that kaizen means continuous improvement and he points out that a better definition would be everybody improving, everywhere, and every day.
President of Toyota, Shoichiro Toyoda, once said after a crisis,
“Now more than ever, we need to remember Deming’s teachings: simply put quality first and follow through with the honest practice of developing quality products and quality people.”
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Video Clip from BBC “Building Cars Live”