Fast Company’s December edition had a fascinating article about Toyota’s institutional obsession with improvement. There is a lot in it that just begs to be disected (if something can beg to be cut up!). Let me give you three reasons to jump over and take a look for yourself:
- "You can’t solve problems unless you admit them. Perfection is a fine goal, but improvement is much more realistic, much more human. Not a 15% improvement by the end of the quarter, a 1% improvement by the end of the month." What if that became part of the fabric of your operation? Asking what is the 1% imrovement that we could make today that will change the effectiveness TODAY?
- "By constantly questioning how you do things, by constantly tweaking, you don’t outflank your competition next quarter. You outflank them next decade." I know many of us don’t think about competition. But we need to. Even if it is carefully evaluating what or who the competition actually is.
- "The work is really threefold: making cars, making cars better, and teaching everyone how to make cars better." What if we thought that way? Could we? You bet. But it would take a new perspective about what it is that we do and how we do it.
It is a great article. You can read the whole thing right here.