As a companion to the problem solving funnel or the 8 step approach of the problem solving process at Toyota, there is a set of principles that guide thought and action. Together these make up the newly described way of working called Toyota Business Practice. If the 8 step process was the old wine in new bottles, perhaps the 10 elements of drive and dedication can be the cheese. It’s old and stinky, but very good cheese.
- Put the customer first, both the end customer and internal customer.
- Always check the purpose of your work, challenging “Why?” from the customer’s viewpoint.
- Take personal responsibility once you have understood the mission and purpose of your work.
- Visualize the problem for the benefit of others and to promote clarity and alignment.
- Make decisions based on facts through genchi genbutsu.
- Think the situation through and follow through in action with persistence.
- Emphasize speed and time-consciousness in responding to changes.
- Act with sincerity and commitment to doing what’s needed.
- Communicate thoroughly to create alignment towards shared goals.
- Get everyone involved in getting things done.
These are basic values that have to be modeled by leadership, checked and reinforced as expectations. They are not things that you teach in a class or put on a poster. This is going back to basics. The we learn about modern management practices the more it sounds like life on a small family farm in my grandfather’s day. Perhaps all that’s old is new again.