Dissatisfaction: The Essence of Toyota Management and the Kaizen Mindset

I’ve said again and again that complacency and being satisfied with the current condition are anathema to kaizen. The article in Fast Company December/January 2006 issue titled “No Satisfaction” is excellent.
Here are some highlights and big ideas from the article:
Restructure a little bit every work shift rather than painfully every few years. Do heijunka with your kaizen, aim for 1% improvement per month rather than 15% per year.
Apply the people you liberate through kaizen to further kaizen, rather than short term cost savings (staffing reduction). There is a great example of this from the paint shop at Toyota Georgetown.
Make things. Make things better. Teach people how to make things better. Make the process of making things better, better.
Words of Mr. Cho to an American manager: “We all know you are a good manager, otherwise we would not have hired you. But please talk to us about your problems so we can all work on them together.”
Understand the standard, then suggest an improvement.
Work is improvement, improvement is work. And this zen-like pronouncement from professor, author and consultant John Shook:
“Once you realize that it’s the process itself–that you’re not seeking a plateau–you can relax. Doing the task and doing the task better become one and the same thing,” Shook says. “This is what it means to come to work.”
Read it, share it, think about it and be dissatisfied in your work.