Taiichi Ohno

Taiichi Ohno Video on Youtube

By Jon Miller Updated on May 19th, 2017

Only it’s in Turkish. Unfortunately that’s not one of my languages, and I can only hear brief snippets of Japanese beneath it, not enough to make out more than a few words. If any readers are capable in Turkish perhaps you can share with us a few highlights.

Nevertheless I like this video a lot because Taiichi Ohno seems so happy to be speaking. The chief architect of the Toyota Production System has a reputation for having been a strict and demanding, though deeply caring teacher. Just by watching his body language you can get a real good sense of the person he became late in life. You can’t help but smile with him.

The comments on Youtube mention that this program was originally in English and dubbed in Turkish. Hopefully they will post the English version soon.

Thanks to Harish Jose for finding and sharing this.

  1. Andreas

    November 13, 2009 - 3:38 am

    Dear Mr Miller,
    I am a researcher at TU Dortmund, Germany, and I forwarded this blog entry and the video to my fellow colleague. He is, as I am, not only researching in operations and logistics management and taking interest in lean management, he is also Turkish. He kindly told me about the content of the video and about what Ohno had to say. Please let me point out the most important parts:
    The video title literally means “The last chance of the skunk”. This must be a Japanese saying describing a situation, when someone is cornered, under attack, challenged and helpless. The last chance of the skunk is then to spatter or squirt a stinking liquid out of the glands in order to chase away the attacker. According to Ohno, all his workers and employees must feel like an animal in the corner, challenged and at its limits. Ohno says, he developed this principle after WW2 when there were no unions in Japan. Constantly challenging the workers and bringing them to their limits was the basis for raising efficiency and institutionalizing continuous improvement.
    He also points out that he never articulated: “reduce waste!” He challenged them, reduced workers and stocks so that the employees simply had to reduce all wastes to get their job done. He put them into a situation which made waste reduction necessary, but it was no top-down directive.
    Ohno explains more in this video, but most of the stuff is already known within the lean community, like SMED, JIT, the chalk circle and Henry Ford. My colleague says, the way Ohno describes things is often very funny and clolorful, but probably could never be carried out in Western countries like Germany.
    So far,

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