Lean in Japan

When startups visit Toyota

FEATURE – Digital organizations are starting to recognize that Toyota’s unique approach can show them the way forward, just like it does “traditional” organizations. Here, we hear from a few startup CEOs following their trip to Japan.

A sense of heritage in an uncertain world

FEATURE – In a market where products become obsolete very fast, this Toyota supplier has learned the importance of staying true to its heritage and developing know-how and people’s capabilities.

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.

Using lean problem solving at the Rio Olympics

FEATURE – At the 2016 Olympics in Rio, the Japanese Men’s 4x100m relay team went from being the underdogs to winning a silver medal by apply lean problem solving.

Learning a different way of thinking in Japan

FEATURE – Study tours in Japan are an increasingly popular learning tool for lean practitioners. The author reflects on the first ever tour she ran and on what it left people with.

Lean Thinking: ingredients, incubation and diffusion

FEATURE – The author offers an overview of the ingredients that made lean thinking what it is, of the 30 years of incubation it underwent at Toyota, and of its diffusion from 1980 onwards.
John Shook in Toyota City with the LGN

John Shook discusses Toyota and Japan at Nagoya station

INTERVIEW – For its 10th anniversary, the Lean Global Network went to Japan for a study mission. Our editor spoke with John Shook on a Shinkansen platform after four days in Toyota City and Nagoya.
lean global network at Shokki plant

Reflections on a week in Toyota City

WOMACK’S YOKOTEN – Last week, during a study mission in Japan, the Lean Global Network visited Toyota. Here, Jim shares his thoughts on what we saw and learned.
Katie Anderson Japanese culture

Japanese culture and lean culture: not always the same

FEATURE – How many times do we hear people say lean is not for them because “it’s a Japanese thing”? After spending 18 months in Japan, the author explains why the country’s culture is not necessarily "lean by nature".
Toyota product development takao sakai

Takao Sakai on product and process development at Toyota

INTERVIEW – At the recent LPPDE event in England, Planet Lean editor Roberto Priolo sat with Takao Sakai to understand how Toyota approaches product and process development and how the Chief Engineer system works.

Understand Japan to understand lean thinking

OPINION - Yalçin Ipbuken, President of Lean Institute Turkey, looks back at a recent study mission to Japan and encourages every lean thinker to visit the country.