Taiichi Ohno said, “Your wits don’t work until you feel the squeeze.” By that measure I and most of the world ought to have seen a significant improvement our mental capacities in 2009. It’s been quite a year. As we look back on the year and look forward to the year ahead, a long-term view and historical perspective can help to lift us out of the weight of the here and now. Books are good for this, as well as conversations with wise old people.
One of my favorite places to find both of these is within the pages of Taiichi Ohno’s Workplace Management, which is now available for sale in paperback. Why not send the gift of wisdom to yourself or another person this holiday season?
Who was Taiichi Ohno? He was person on the front lines at Toyota and its suppliers from the 1940s through the 1980s working, teaching, fighting, failing and succeeding to build what we call lean management today. He is the teacher of teachers.
Get to know him a bit better through his book, a summary of conversations he had about his memories, philosophies and experiences in creating the Toyota Production System. I invite you to imagine he is speaking directly to you and reflect on his words.