LeanBlog Podcast #35 – Former Toyota Leader David Meier, on Toyota Talent (Again)



LeanBlog Podcast #35 is another discussion with David Meier, co-author of the book Toyota Talent, written with Dr. Jeffrey Liker. In this podcast, we follow up our previous discussion (Podcast #31) to talk about the upcoming Toyota books, as well as some of the leadership challenges that companies face with working with Lean.

If you enjoy this podcast, I hope you'll check out the rest of the series by visiting the LeanBlog podcast main page at http://www.leanpodcast.org/.

Keywords and Main Points, Episode #35

  • The next books coming in the series – Toyota Culture, Toyota Process, Toyota Problem Solving
  • Hearing comments about how companies have trouble sustaining Lean after 3 or 5 years — why is that happening and what's missing?
  • Talking about the LEI survey on why companies struggle with Lean
  • How is the Toyota San Antonio plant creating a system of systematic continuous improvement?
  • Following the stand problem solving methodology to find out why a company is struggling with Lean…
  • Instead of being punitive, leaders need to be more inspirational
  • Need to move away from blaming
  • Leadership has to communicate the message
  • His website: http://www.thetoyotaway.org/

If you have feedback on the podcast, or any questions for me or my guests, you can email me at leanpodcast@gmail.com or you can call and leave a voicemail by calling the “Lean Line” at (817) 993-0630 or contact me via Skype id “mgraban”. Please give your location and your first name. Any comments (email or voicemail) might be used in follow ups to the podcast.

Click here for the main LeanBlog Podcast page with all previous episodes.

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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.


  1. Mark, I really enjoyed David’s talk and appreciate your putting them on. I found that you interjected more than I had heard in the past, with small comments like yeah….., Hummm…. Uh huh… and I found it somewhat distracting. You may want to listen to it critically and I think you can bring your modetaor skills up greatly. Keep up the good work.


  2. Lester — I appreciate the feedback. I can edit out the “ums” and “yeahs” if that’s the best way to do it. I’ve never focused too much on editing or sounding too professional… but in the spirit of kaizen, I can always do better.

    I’ll read up a bit on interviewing technique and when to edit those out (or avoid making them so much to begin with).

    Anyone else have thoughts on that? Does it detract from the podcasts or make them harder to listen to?

  3. Mark,

    I did enjoy this podcast and I’m glad you talked about the depth of Toyota Talent. I actually find it a bit dense for getting to grips with Toyota’s RH standards. I’m finding Toyota Culture much better in terms of real-life Toyota examples. Example: Reward system at TMMK. I agree with David’s about giving examples and real life situations helps people a lot. Of course Lean is all about developing our own mental model of thinking and not copying Toyota’s way of doing things but it helps to see some real implementation examples.

    Pedro S.


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