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Extreme Toyota: Radical Contradictions That Drive Success at the World's Best Manufacturer Hardcover – May 23, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (May 23, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470267623
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470267622
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,596,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Heavily footed and studded with graphs and charts, this insider's view of one of the world's leading manufacturers is somewhat academic in tone yet has enough anecdotes to make it interesting." (Library Journal, May 15, 2008)

From the Inside Flap

By almost any measure, Toyota is a model of extreme performance among the world's best manufacturers. The company is hugely profitable, known for strong engineering, durability, and reliability, and is on track to replace GM as the world's largest automaker. What explains this phenomenal success?

Based on six years of research and unprecedented access to Toyota facilities, documents, and activities—as well as hundreds of interviews with employees and leaders of the company—Extreme Toyota explains what makes Toyota great and what you and your business can learn from its success.

Though Toyota is well known for its innovative production process—the Toyota Production System (TPS)—there is much more to its success than just its nimble, cost-effective production practices. The authors of Extreme Toyota explain that the secret to Toyota's success lies in a series of striking paradoxes or contradictions that are actively encouraged by Toyota's management. For example:

  • Toyota cultivates frugality and thriftiness AND spends big to develop people and projects

  • It is hierarchical and bureaucraticAND encourages dissent

  • It aims for stability AND fosters a mindset of paranoia

  • It moves forward slowly and gradually AND makes big leaps

  • It is operationally efficient AND filled with redundancy

This creative clash of innovative production practices and traditional corporate culture not only works, it works extraordinarily well. Toyota manages to turn these seeming contradictions into unlimited growth and success. While most companies seek to stamp out internal contradictions and paradoxes, Toyota actively encourages them, resulting in continuous innovation and constant renewal. If you want to grow your own culture of contradiction and success, take a look inside the world's best manufacturer.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on November 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The authors contend that there is more to Toyota's success than its well-known Toyota Production system. They identify several contradictions to illustrate:

1)It cultivates frugality, AND spends big to develop people and projects.

2)Moves forward slowly and gradually, AND makes big leaps.

3)It is operationally efficient AND filled with redundancy.

How to make use of these points, however, is not made clear; for example, #3 is illustrated by Toyota having excess people in sales and meetings. The value of doing so, however, was not made clear.

The most interesting portion of the book involved a few relatively unknown facts. Toyota's dividend payouts are low, averaging 20% of earnings over the past ten years (Daimler-Chrysler = 47.5%.) The result is a cash hoard ($20 billion in 2007), and a mediocre ROIC. Average compensation for its top 33 executives is about 10% of Ford's. Finally, the founding Toyoda family owns just 2% of the firm, vs. Ford (40%), and BMW (50%). So much for several American common practices.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Clement on January 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In light of the recent federal bailout, It doesn't take a brainiac to figure out that the Big Three American automakers are in big financial trouble. Each is plagued by a strikingly similar palette of problems, products and poor performance. In fact, one of the biggest gripes leveled against U.S. automakers is that they're too similar overall. That's not the case for Toyota which has turned divergence and internal paradox into a competitive advantage that has helped it consistently rank as one of the best manufacturers in the world. In the book Extreme Toyota a team of business strategy academicians focus on six contradictory forces that Toyota has replicated within its organizational DNA that enable it to constantly self renew and generate ongoing innovation. The authors applaud Toyota's ability to reconcile seemingly irreconcilable issues such as personnel redundancy with operational efficiency; extended experimentation cycles with rapid implementations; and constrained resource usage with extravagant project decisions. Soundview recommends this book because of its counterintuitive insights and powerful premise, which should benefit most manufacturers - perhaps even the Big Three.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By GP The Engineer on August 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having read most of the detailed TPS books, this one was a bit to theoretical. Realize it was likely written for the MBA crowd....

I still find it a bit odd that Toyota subject books tend to avoid the fact that no company is perfect. Wouldn't trade the hectic workweek it sounds like the Japanese based staff work for anything. I liked the references to the CEO's push even thought business was good at the time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bas Vodde on August 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This review is based on the 2nd re-read of Extreme Toyota. After the first read, I never wrote a review but I did mark the book as worth a re-read. After re-reading, I remembered why. I've read quite a lot of Toyota books and liked this one and found it insightful. Extreme Toyota brings a different perspective to why and how Toyota works. At times it is a bit theoretical, but then it is also full with stories about what Toyota has done.

The book conceptually consists of 3 parts (these parts aren't explicitly in the book). The first two chapters are more or less introductory. Chapter 3-9 explain the forces of expansion and integration that drive Toyota. Chapter 9-11 are more conclusion chapters.

The first part (chapter 1-2) is introductory. The authors studies Toyota for many years and have been puzzled by practices that seem to contradict each other. Eventually they concluded that it is these contradictions that are they key to Toyotas success. These contradictions cause Toyota to focus on expanding (expanding forces) and to stabilize or integrate (integrative forces). They identify 3 expansive forces: 1) Impossible goals, 2) Eagerness to Experiment, 3) Local Customization and also 3 integrative forces: 1) Founders' Philosophies, 2) Nerve system, and 3) Up-and-in Human Resource Management. The next part has a chapter for each of these forces.

The second part (chapter 3-9) dives in the expanding and integrating forces. It explains the force and how it helps Toyota and then each of the chapters are supported by stories and case studies. Some of the cases used are: Introduction of Lexus (technically), Introduction of Lexus dealer network, introduction of Scion, Introduction of the Tundra, creation of the IMV vehicle, and more.
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Extreme Toyota: Radical Contradictions That Drive Success at the World's Best Manufacturer
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