Thursday, January 17, 2008

Zen and the Manufacture of Toyota Vehicles

Zen stands for “good” in Japanese. Kaizen means “change for the better”. It has been the system employed by Toyota Motors as a method of continuously improving production by encouraging all stakeholders of the company to experiment with subtle adjustments in order to minimize waste, defined as any activity that adds cost without increasing value. Methods which have been proven to enhance productivity are subsequently standardized.

Kaizen was institutionalized early on at Toyota and is responsible for the culture of disparate stakeholders getting together to continuously generate small improvements towards the unattainable goal of perfection. It helps explain how a large group of people can engage in seemingly monotonous labor for long periods and still achieve progressive growth.

Kaizen is not simply results-oriented. It continuously examines the various processes that produces results. In evaluating these processes it employs a constructive, non-blaming technique (blaming does not add value and is wasteful) and emphasizes systemic thinking, looking at the big picture in order to avoid problems down the line.

We must be able to study different models that are effective in enhancing productivity. This definition of insanity is attributed to Einstein: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Our country urgently needs to change for the better.

2 comments:

Marian said...

Good luck to our country. We will need all the help we can get.

Camille Martinez said...

,,arigatou ne... gambatte' :D