- Series: Business Books
- Hardcover: 306 pages
- Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (August 4, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0071635238
- ISBN-13: 978-0071635233
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Toyota Kata: Managing People for Improvement, Adaptiveness and Superior Results (Business Books) 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
Lead, Manage, and Develop Your People--the Toyota Way!"Toyota Kata gets to the essence of how Toyota manages continuous improvement and human ingenuity, through its improvement kata and coaching kata. Mike Rother explains why typical companies fail to understand the core of lean and make limited progress―and what it takes to make it a real part of your culture."
―Jeffrey K. Liker, bestselling author of The Toyota Way
“By uncovering exactly what makes Toyota the standard bearer in a way that is accessible to every management level, in every industry, Rother has given the business world a true gem--Toyota Kata is a must read!”
Keith Allman, President, Delta Faucet Company
“Mike Rother's Toyota Kata is a rare and exciting event--a book that casts entirely new light on a much-heralded set of management practices, giving those practices new significance and power.”
from the Foreword by H. Thomas Johnson, author of Profit Beyond Measure
“In Toyota Kata, Rother has put his finger on the heart of the coaching process at Toyota. He has distilled the PDCA process to its simplest and most essential core. Much of Toyota's success is rooted in these subtle yet powerful behaviors Mike so clearly describes. Kata provides a level of clear insight into the key principles underlying Toyota culture in a way that can be easily understood and applied. Essential reading for any company committed to lasting culture change."
Bill Costantino, W3 Group, Former Group Leader TMMK (Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, Inc.)
About the Author
Mike Rother is an engineer, a teacher, and a guest researcher at the Technical University Dortmund. Rother’s work has bought him to numerous companies and hundreds of factories around the world, where he collaborates with people to test ideas and shares lessons learned. He splits his time between Ann Arbor, and Cologne, Germany. Rother has been entered into the Association of Manufacturing Excellence's Hall of Fame.
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Top Customer Reviews
I've now purchased SIX copies of the book as we are picking up speed, proceeding to roll Lean out through all the aspects of our national business. It will doubtless take me years to really feel I am a fully experienced "Lean" practitioner. But I can't praise this book enough: Forget reading all the other books until you've really read this one. I wish I could take at least one star away from pretty nearly all the other Lean books out there so this one would really stand out as the shining STAR that it is.
Of the probably 15 books I've read so far on "lean", this one stands alone in actually trying to teach the thinking *behind* Toyota's mindset of continuous improvement. As the author himself admits -- despite all the books, seminars, and consulting -- NOBODY has yet duplicated Toyota's results. You can be pretty sure you will fail, also, if you try to implement lean as a group of tools taught by a consultant. The tools are absolutely the LEAST important aspect of Toyota's success.
In the author's words: "What we have been doing is observing Toyota's current visible practices, classifying them into lists of elements and principles and then trying to adopt them. This is reverse engineering ... and it is not working so well."
I do think Lean has a lot to offer; It only makes sense that there a better and worse ways to do everything and that improvement really has no limits.
The proper place to start, and to ground, is in the philosophy and more subtle behaviors at Toyota. The particular techniques are pretty much valueless without culture change and this is the only book I've read so far which really teaches that.
The author, Mike, never worked in Toyota but has studied Toyota extensively. The not so surprising result of the research was that the secret of Toyota is it's ability to continuously improve. The more surprising part of his work is that he believes the key to that culture is the management culture or style that is applied within Toyota. Management consistently improves continuous improvement by coaching people to expand their problem solving capabilities. Mike's goal became to learn this and discover how to be able to do that in other organizations.
A kata is a series of movements in martial arts that are frequently repeated to make them automatic. The author took the idea of kata and asked what the frequently repeated 'movements' are that enables a problem solving improvement culture. He discovered two of these: (1) improvement kata, and (2) coaching kata.
The improvement kata is what the entire organization does. In short, establish a longer term goal, a shorter term goal, spend a lot of time and be brutally honest where you are now and experiment with improvements and measure if you are getting closer towards your long term improvement goal. The coaching kata is what the management does to coach the organization to adopt the improvement kata.
While reading Toyota kata, I often reflected on Taichii Ohno stories of problem solving that eventually led to the Toyota Production System, and the Toyota Kata approach does suggest similar (perhaps nicer) working styles. In that sense, i think that Mike is expressed a basic core practice of creating an improvement culture? Will it make it easier to create such an culture? Perhaps a little. But it isn't easy, constantly repeating these Kata's to practice problem solving skills. I do think this will definitively help organizations who are sincerely trying to improve forward. Highly recommended!