The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World’s Greatest Manufacturer

★★★ Review Key
The Toyota Way
14 Management Principles from the World’s Greatest Manufacturer

Jeffrey K. Liker
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It is easy to see how this book could change the way the western world sees manufacturing. The ideas are not new, but story is told so well that they feel discovered and irrefutable.

Some business books are dry but this reads more like a Hero’s Journey than a description of management techniques. Imagine that as soon as the hero accepts that he can never be perfect he finds that the magic to conquer his demons has been inside him all along. That it is not perfection, but continuous improvement that is the better journey. The magic of progress is made through a disciplined and persistent application of focus, order, balance, observation, and change. I could imagine that a good listener and master of the Toyota Production System, could identify the music of a healthy factory rather than hear only noise. Or maybe they would like you to believe that, like the oil wildcatters that would taste the ground in front of the crew before they started drilling. It would add to their legend, even though the tasting was just for show. They already had all the hard survey data and the decision was long made.

The book is not some mystical fantasy. It is a description of how Toyota developed its successful management principles, and a damn good one at that. It is also a fun read.

If you have not read it before, read it. If you have not read it in a while, re-read it.