Lean Broadcasting? NHK Calls Toyota for Help with Kaizen

Another embattled Japanese state-owned enterprise asked Toyota executives for help with kaizen yesterday. NHK (the national broadcasting corporation) has requested that Toyota send an official to join the board of directors of NHK.
Toyota said “yes” within 8 hours. Toyota agreed to provide an executive, who would retire to join the board and take an active role in doing kaizen at NHK. This is just the latest example of a promising trend towards Lean government in Japan.
The new airport in Nagoya was famously built on-time and under budget through a public-private partnership and under the watchful eye and direction of a Toyota executive. The post office in Japan also began practicing kaizen a few years ago under the coaching of a Toyota executive, and the Metropolitan Expressway Co. of Japan also has a Toyota executive serving as Chairman.
Toyota Chairman Hiroshi Okuda steps down after June, and he will likely take on a similar role in cleaning up Japanese government, perhaps even running for office.
Gemba is no Toyota, but if FEMA or any other embattled U.S. government office wants help with kaizen our team will happily provide volunteers in this effort to serve to our country.