Interesting Comment on a Toyota Post
My blogging will be relatively light this week, given some holiday time off, family visiting, and a short trip for New Year’s.
There’s nothing lazier, I guess, than linking to a reader comment, but I had a new comment from a Toyota person on a post from earlier this year.From this post (“NPR Does a Great Job of Covering Toyota“), I had a new comment yesterday from Hilary in Singapore, she says she works for Toyota. She wrote:
I work for Toyota’s Asian regional office in Singapore doing Kaizen for dealer operations. The biggest trend we find in improving the processes is that you may have the best standard of all, but to get the frontline staff to follow the standard is the difficult part. To do this, the standard should come from their ideas thru constant coaching and mentoring by management. This is in the form of a “senpai”, as Phil probably knows, or in other words, mentor.
The idea of manager as coach and mentor is a powerful part of the Lean approach, as Hilary reinforces. We don’t beat people into submission, as managers often want “buy in” when they really want employees to just do as their told. That’s not Lean, that sort of browbeating.
She explains this further, and brilliantly:
Once you so called “get it”, you do it almost subconciously, but definitely not forcefully. Toyota management has their way to help you reach that point, which is thru the “senpai” relationship. I’ve never been scolded or yelled at. My manager’s role if something goes wrong, is to ask himself we he can do better next time to support my performance. If the process is not followed, he should be asking what is restricting me from following it. And this is where Toyota’s strength is.
As I’ve often said, thanks to my readers for their amazing contributions to this blog.