New Book, "Toyota Talent:" Out NOW


Toyota Talent

Update 5/6/07: The book is now shipping from Amazon

I had the pleasure of reading a pre-publication version of this new book from Prof. Jeffrey Liker and David Meier. You know Jeff from The Toyota Way (and my Podcasts with him) and David from his co-authorship (with Jeff) of The Toyota Way Fieldbook (and my Podcast with David).

Toyota Talent is refreshing in that it really adds to the Lean literature in the important area of Standard Work and the development of people. The book probably has a less broad audience than The Toyota Way, given its more detailed treatment of the topic, but this book will be invaluable if you are working with actual Lean implementation on a daily basis — in manufacturing or healthcare. There are examples from multiple industries included, in fact, so this isn't just a book about Toyota.

From the back cover:

Leading Toyota authorities Jeffrey Liker and David Meier give you the keys to growing top performers from within through a detailed process of preparation, training, and follow-up. Drawing upon Liker's detailed study of Toyota's manufacturing, technical, and service organizations across the globe, and Meier's deep experience gained from working with some of Toyota's best sensei, the authors bring the company's proven practices to life through insight and exercises, enabling you to:

  • Define your organizational needs and objectives
  • Create development plans for all employees
  • Grow your top talent from within
  • Analyze routine work and ancillary tasks
  • Break down a job for effective training
  • Break the cycle of poor training and results to create a cycle of continuous learning and improvement

There are many helpful tips, including this one from page 135:

“The “real world” of the nurse's job requires flexibility and the ability to respond to the ever-changing situation. We hear this same objection in manufacturing or other fields where the work appears to be highly variable. It is assumed that the nurse's job must be made routine like an assembly line job. Herein lies the mistake. It is not the intent of standardized work to make all work highly repetitive; it is the intent to define the best methods and to reduce variation in the work method as much as possible.”

That is outstanding advice for applying Standard Work to different healthcare environments. People say they don't want to be turned into robots. I think this book will show you a practical approach to Standard Work development and training that respects people as living, thinking, creative humans.

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