Lean Companies

Passing down TPS across generations

FEATURE – This intimate account looks back at the time one of the authors spent working with Harada-san and how it shaped his career and encouraged him to spread TPS knowledge.

Keep calm and manage stably: Akio Toyoda on crises

FEATURE – Akio Toyoda’s May 12th press conference to present Toyota’s financial results offers great insights into how the company is reacting to the pandemic, say Jeff Liker and John Shook.

Harada-san and the steps to better Jidoka

FEATURE – In the first piece of a series on Takehiko Harada’s contribution to TPS, the authors discuss the Nagara Switch and how it helps to achieve better Jidoka.

Slashing onboarding time for new developers

BUILDING BRIDGES – Using kaizen, a team at Theodo was able to reduce the time necessary to install a project on a new developer’s computer from three weeks to twelve minutes.

What does learning look like at Toyota?

INTERVIEW – Toyota’s approach to developing capabilities and its focus on life-long learning are inspirational. But how do people at Toyota actually learn?

Introducing the Toyota Flow System

FEATURE – In the age of complexity and disruption, flowing value to customers as quickly as possible is critical. The new Toyota Flow System strives to address this issue. 

Leading a quality revolution

INTERVIEW – A couple of weeks ago, our editor caught up with Toyota veteran Sadao Nomura. In this Q&A, he discusses quality improvement and leadership engagement.

Surviving an inflection point

FEATURE – The car industry is undergoing incredible change and ‘disruption’ is the word on everyone’s lips. How can companies survive it? Once again, Toyota shows us the way.

Jishuken at Toyota Motor Kyushu

INTERVIEW – A team from LGN just spent a week on the gemba with Toyota veteran Hideshi Yokoi for a jishuken exercise. We asked him to explain to us how he used this practice while at Toyota Motor Kyushu.

How I learned to treat people like individuals

FEATURE – In this intimate, moving account, the author shares her journey of personal transformation that caused her mindset and her attitude towards employees to dramatically change.

The formula behind the success of Toyota

INTERVIEW – What is the secret to Toyota’s ability to engage people in continuous improvement? Tracey and Ernie Richardson look back at their time with the company and tell us.

Developing lean thinkers – Lessons from Toyota

VIDEO - In this video from the recent European Lean Educator Conference, John Shook and Isao Yoshino draw on their experience at Toyota to reflect on the development of lean thinkers.

Kgotla, a foundation for lean thinking

FEATURE – Is it possible to build our lean transformation efforts on pre-existing cultural aspects we find in our societies? According to the author, it is… and it works really well.

From kaizen to innovation

FEATURE – Innovation is a process and lean thinking allows that process to take place, by empowering everyone in the company to think creatively about solving customer problems. 

A story of lead-time in digital

BUILDING BRIDGES – In another article for their series, lean digital company Theodo tells us about their efforts to measure and reduce its lead-time to deliver product features.

Lean learning happens across sectors too

FEATURE – The power of cross-pollination: learning from a manufacturing company has helped a cancer treatment center in Brazil to thrive in its lean transformation.

Bringing agility to Toyota

INTERVIEW – The Chief of Agile at Toyota Connected tells us about the agility journey of Toyota and explains why the divide between lean thinking and Agile has no reason to exist.

Doubling the number of performant Apps using kaizen

BUILDING BRIDGES – A member of the Theodo team tells us about their attempts to improve the performance of their Web apps using lean principles.