Taiichi Ohno

Taiichi Ohno’s Revolution of Awareness

By Jon Miller Published on June 25th, 2007

Very early in the book Taiichi Ohno’s Workplace Management the architect of the Toyota Production System calls for “a revolution of awareness”. He proceeds to talk about misconceptions and false beliefs of various types that people have, as he tells stories and explains parts of the Toyota system.
Although the idea of a revolution of awareness is easy to agree with, what is it specifically? A higher degree of sensitivity to waste? A denial of managing by economies of scale? A new way of leading through Socratic questioning and teaching through experimentation, rather than command and control?
Ohno does not spell it out, he just says that a revolution of awareness is needed. Here Ohno is playing the game of wits with us, making us think with him, because our wits don’t work until we feel the squeeze.
I came across this quote today and thought it was most appropriate, and at least a partial answer to the question of what is Taiichi Ohno’s revolution of awareness:
Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.
– Albert Einstein, Scientist

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