Engineer critical of Japanese work style


A new book is out, written by an American engineer who worked for a Toyota supplier in Japan. It's been almost 10 years since he worked there, according to this article, that's a long wait to get a book out.

Like many of us, the author thought:

“Before I went, I was probably a typical American, thinking their work system was far superior to ours,” he said. He admired the idea of respecting the workers and producing high-quality vehicles

But, he became disillusioned.

“Throughout the book, Mehri traces his growing concern with the company methods, including what he says are too-fast assembly lines and too much machinery crammed into too little space.

Although he worked as an engineer, Mehri said he interviewed several factory workers for his book. He said some workers completed 36-hour shifts.”

I guess what he was seeing was an example of poor lean implementation, even though it was a Toyota supplier and in Japan. I guess neither of those things are indicators that lean would be done properly. We learned, even as far back as the book The Machine That Changed The World, that not all Japanese companies are as good as Toyota.

Please check out my main blog page at

The RSS feed content you are reading is copyrighted by the author, Mark Graban.

, , , on the author's copyright.

What do you think? Please scroll down (or click) to post a comment. Or please share the post with your thoughts on LinkedIn – and follow me or connect with me there.

Did you like this post? Make sure you don't miss a post or podcast — Subscribe to get notified about posts via email daily or weekly.

Check out my latest book, The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation:

Get New Posts Sent To You

Select list(s):
Previous articleGreat Lean Example: HON
Next articleUpdate on Lean Solutions Q&A
Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.