Taiichi Ohno Interview Video Footage

By Jon Miller Updated on March 12th, 2017

This week I found a five-minute YouTube video excerpt featuring Taiichi Ohno. It is a television program about the revolutionary productivity Ohno achieved at Toyota. It is from the late 1980s. Taiichi Ohno is interviewed in what looks like his living room, interspersed with black-and-white footage from Toyota in the 1950s.

Here are a few of the things you can learn from the video:

  • Waste happens when people mistakenly think they are working
  • When people are good at finding waste, give them an aggressive target
  • After they have hit that target, give them another one
  • “We’ve always done things this way,” and “But he’s a hard worker” are signs people are’t seeing the waste
  • It is difficult to get people to change if you don’t meet them where they’re at
  • To make work flow, a foreman’s job changes to running the line smoothly and not in doing the work itself
  • Ohno optimized human labor in the machining departments, but revolutionized how parts were fed to the assembly line through the just-in-time method
  • Lack of cash was the constraint that forced the conception of minimum-stock production (a.k.a. TPS, Lean)
  • Kanban was a card that acted as currency and communicated what was consumed
  • Changeover time reduction allowed Toyota to deliver a mix of low volume items

Hear Taiichi Ohno’s voice and see him smile in this valuable video.

  1. Geno Johnston

    April 4, 2017 - 9:36 pm

    Great video clip of the true Master. Nothing that he described is difficult actually much eiaser then many think. It’s all about “Mindset” and changing the way others think. Thanks for sharing Jon, there are so many little “golden nuggets” if you listen closely to his words.

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