Ever since everyone’s “model” of how to run a business (a.k.a. Toyota) has run into serious trouble people seem to be jumping off the TPS bandwagon faster than Brett Favre fans.
It goes something like this, and I am paraphrasing:
“Thank you Toyota for helping to get this lean thing started. We really appreciate it. But you obviously don’t follow your own system or perhaps your system actually sucks so I’m leaving you. After all, my company hasn’t recalled millions of widgets (lately). Oh, and good luck with that brake problem. It definitely sucks to be you.”
Or here’s another version of what people are saying, again paraphrased.
“I have told you all along that following Toyota was not the way. Sure they have some good tools that they stole from the Americans… but I think you’ll agree now is the time to stop following them. They’re washed up. They’re too big. I mean, come on, they can’t even design a floor mat! Let’s do this thing on our own. After all, we can design floor mats and brake pedals that don’t stick… right?”
Again, I am paraphrasing here… but this is the general feeling I’m getting from around the web.
You know what I want to say to all these folks jumping off the Toyota bandwagon?
Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.
Failure is Inevitable
You see, what people seem to be forgetting is every one of us has or will fail.
It all started with an apple a long time ago. We’ll all fail in business, in our personal lives, and in our spiritual lives.
To be sure, if there’s a certainty in life it’s that failure is indeed inevitable. The question then becomes how do we respond to this failure?
Do we say we’re sorry for our mistakes and attempt to fix it as fast as possible while implementing countermeasures so it never occurs again?
Or do we point fingers and hide like cowards praying we don’t get sued since the “cost benefit analysis” says we’re better off waiting for law suits then we are fixing all those Pintos, I mean widgets.
Toyota is Not Infallible
Toyota never promised us they wouldn’t falter… especially since they’re operated by men and women.
And Toyota never asked us to write books about them or learn about how they operate their company.
No, we did that on our own. And I, for one, am glad since I’m a better person for it.
I’m Here For the Long Haul
So am I am jumping from the TPS bandwagon or trying to “separate” myself from Toyota in these hard times? No way.
I’m here for the long journey. I still have so much to learn from them as well as from my own personal failures and successes.
And, alas, I’m prepared for all the bandwagoner’s to come crawling back on their bellies as they attempt to climb back on board the TPS wagon once things settle down. And they will settle down. This, I’m sure of.
What about you?
Where do you stand? Are you prepared to fight through this problem with Toyota or are you jumping for cover?