I never had the chance to learn directly from Mr. Oba, but he is legendary in Lean circles and I know many people who were deeply influenced by Mr. Oba. I hope to interview more of them in the near future. My deepest condolences go out to Mr. Oba's family, friends, and colleagues.
Here is a classic 2001 WSJ article that features him:
In today's episode, Steve talks about meeting Mr. Oba and how he learned from him as a doctoral student. One story that Steve shares was about sitting at his desk, thinking about a problem, and Mr. Oba told him:
“Don't think — do!”Hajime Oba
You'll hear more from Steve talking about the need to learn by doing and to test changes in an experimental fashion. It's not just “do” — it's Plan Do Check Act (or Plan Do Study Adjust or even Plan Test Study Adjust).
Streaming Audio Player:
Video of the Episode:
For a link to this episode, refer people to www.leanblog.org/386.
Questions, Links, and More
- What are your recollections of meeting and working with Mr. Oba?
- How did Mr. Oba look at a process or a value stream?
- How did Mr. Oba look at learning?
- Spear's article “Decoding the DNA of the Toyota Production System“
- WSJ article about Mr. Oba “How Does Toyota Maintain Quality? Mr. Oba's Hair Dryer Offers a Clue“
- Why do rational and emotional justifications matter in the workplace?
- “Don't think, do.”
- TSSC.com — the group that Mr. Oba founded
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