By November 12, 2012 4 Comments Read More →

Visiting the Toyota Museum in Nagoya

While I’m in Japan this week (read about the trip), I’m going to keep my blogging light – my aim is to share one picture or thought each day. I’ll blog more about the trip after Thanksgiving and I’m thinking of putting together an eBook about the trip.

The tour starts on Monday with a visit to a Toyota assembly plant. On Sunday, I went to the Toyota Museum. There was quite a large exhibit about the Toyota Production System. There were a few signs that had slightly different definitions of TPS. One, in particular, said:

The Toyota Production System - continual improvements toward profound evolution through full participation of all employees.

Other signs talked about the dual pillars of “jidoka” (automation with a human touch, for quality) and “just in time” production.

But I like how this sign focused on kaizen and continual improvements.

“There are no bounds to improvement.”

“Full participation of all employees.”

“…refusing to ever be complacent.”

japan lean healthcare tour postsThat’s powerful. That spirit is much harder to copy than isolated Lean tools. That’s what makes TPS so meaningful.

The exhibit had many examples of employee Kaizen efforts from the factories.

An early Toyota motto, emphasized on the tour was “Always be studious and creative, striving to stay ahead of the times.”

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Mark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Mark is a consultant, author, and speaker in the "Lean healthcare" methodology. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent project is an book titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

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4 Comments on "Visiting the Toyota Museum in Nagoya"

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  1. Good Luck in Japan. Please asked and post information regarding their performance review system. Wondering if any ah ha’s are to be found.

    • Mark Graban

      I read an article not long ago about Dr. Deming yelling (sort of) at the Japanese in about 1990, chastising them for adopting American-style performance review systems and such. I’ll try to ask if that’s still the case.

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