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 activitiesas well as hundreds of interviews with employees and leaders of the companyExtreme 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 processthe 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.
First, this book is obviously dated int eh wake of Toyota's massive US recalls, though the trio of authors do hint at storm clouds on the horizon. Read morePublished on May 7, 2010 by S. J. Snyder
Vast numbers of books discuss Toyota, but this one is far more than just another paean to how well the company uses its production system. Read morePublished on October 5, 2009 by Rolf Dobelli