Review: The Toyota Way (rated 2 stars)

by Jeffrey Liker

It’s not that I didn’t like The Toyota Way. On the contrary, the principles behind the Toyota Company’s process and philosophy are dynamic. This book, however, is drier than Corn Flakes.

I plowed through a full 50% of it before I finally set it down. The author was completely unengaging. It’s a shame to make the TPS (Toyota Production System) as boring as he successfully did. Because TPS is anything but boring.

Toyota’s revolutionary way of doing business has defined, and in some sense, is the model for lean manufacturing. For them, money is not the bottom line. Rather, making a lasting contribution to society is. That, and their people are the foundation of all they do and drive their ultimate decision making processes.

I took a lot away from the book – simply by skimming to get the dynamics and highlights of the material. In particular, we have even begun to implement some of the thoughts behind what is known as visual management by beginning a simple wipe erase board process in our church office. We had a friend and disciple of the TPS help our church staff implement the basics of it.

The Toyota Way as a book is a real snoozer. The Toyota Way is definitely not. Read the Cliff Notes or find another book on the business principles beside this one.

On this day...

Jeff

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