The harder Toyota’s overwhelming success becomes to ignore, the more books and articles are written about what makes them great. Many say the same thing, but in different ways. I’ve just started flipping through a Japanese book titled The Textbook of Toyota-style Work and I’ve already found something interesting.
In the section titled A Study of Toyota’s “Gemba Power,” the book describes how Toyota employees are loyal to the company due to how the company treats them, and how Toyota people have a uniformity in how they think and act that gives them power.
Stylishly, this is called the seven habits. They are that Toyota people:
1. Listen well to others
2. Think about what is the problem
3. Show a willingness to encourage and suggest
4. Have a habit of thinking of what needs to be done in order to win
5. Discuss things with each other
6. Are thorough about genchi gembutsu
7. Have an willingness to just try it
These are values and behaviors at the root of what makes Toyota successful. Obvious things. Easy to describe, hard to get everyone to do all of the time.