Jeff Liker on the Second Edition of “The Toyota Way”


Wow, 400 Episodes!! 400 episodes in roughly 15.5 years… that's about 800 weeks, or one episode every two weeks, on average, over that time. Thanks again to the late Norm Bodek for the idea to get this podcast started, as I talk about in this memorial video. Thanks to everybody who has listened or participated as a guest!!

My guest for Episode #400 is Jeffrey Liker, the retired University of Michigan professor who has recently released the second updated and revised version of his seminal book The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World's Greatest Manufacturer. The new edition has more examples from the service sector, including healthcare, and it incorporates “Toyota Kata” approaches (and he credits his former student Mike Rother).

Today, we talk about why he wrote a new edition and what he's learned since the publication of the original back in 2004. We talk about combining the perspectives of industrial engineering and sociology — the mechanistic vs. the organic views of a system like Lean/TPS. What is “coercive bureaucracy” vs. “enabling bureaucracy”? What's the difference between “being Toyota” and “emulating Toyota”?

We also learn a little bit about the musical instrument that Jeff has started playing again. We need to form a Lean band! Maybe not.

The podcast is sponsored by Stiles Associates, now in their 30th year of business. They are the go-to Lean recruiting firm serving the manufacturing, private equity and healthcare industries. Learn more.

This podcast is part of the #LeanCommunicators network

You can listen to the audio or watch the video, below. I hope you enjoy the discussion. Jeff was previously a guest on episodes 3, 4, 37, 39, 41, and 111.

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Video of the Episode:

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This podcast is part of the Lean Communicators network… check it out!

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