New book out now!

Welcome Problems, Find Success
by Nate Furuta


Everyone, even within Toyota, has to work at developing and sustaining their kaizen mindset. Over four decades, Nate Furuta has supported and led some of the most important initiatives in Toyota’s history – from the establishment of the NUMMI joint venture with General Motors to the launch of the company’s first wholly owned manufacturing operation outside Japan in Georgetown, Kentucky – at the time when the carmaker was going global.

This book sheds a light on the pivotal role that human- resource management has played in the history of Toyota, providing a deep dive into the way senior leaders devise and execute the company’s strategy while developing capabilities. Key to this is creating the awareness, attitude, capability, and practice of identifying problems as the company strives to reach its goals – which becomes a self-reinforcing loop propelling it toward meeting its purpose.

Author Furuta reveals Toyota’s general management systems and describes, with stories and real-life examples, the attitude, behaviors, and systems needed to successfully initiate and lead a true lean operation.

A Toyota veteran with 37 years of experience within the company, Nate Furuta joined Toyota in 1970 after graduating from the University of Tokyo with a bachelor of law degree. He was assigned to the Human Resources department. Over the course of his 37-year career within Toyota, Nate established problem-finding philosophies and built kaizen culture in new environments for Toyota – North America and Europe. Among his achievements are the leading of labor negotiations in the early-1980s with the UAW to establish the Toyota-General Motors joint venture NUMMI in Fremont, California, the launch of Toyota’s first greenfield plant in North America (Georgetown, Kentucky), and the revival of Toyota’s failing European division in the early 2000s .

Read about Nate Furuta’s outstanding experience exporting Toyota cultures to environments as diverse as NUMMI and the company’s European operations.