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Issue of October 2004 
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Manipulating the Mindset

Title: The Toyota Way
Author: Jeffrey K. Liker
Publisher: Tata McGraw Hill
Pages: 330
Price: Rs 250/-

Obviously impressed by the evolution of Toyota's corporate culture, which he believes is a derivative and representative of Japanese social culture, Liker has put forth the 14 management principles that put Toyota on the global map of manufacturers.

The story of Toyota begins with the Toyoda family. Eiji Toyoda inherited the spirit of innovation and desire to try everything hands on from his family. When he

initiated the company, he shed any pride, and was only too willing to learn what Ford was doing right to maintain its number one position among car manufacturers. After that there are certain pillars of management he established that was to benefit the company through all its rough times.

There are certain striking fundamentals of the Toyota way:

Kaizen: To continuously strive for improvement, even if the targets are met.

Jikoda: Never allowing any defect to pass, therefore producing top quality products 100 percent of the time

Heijunka: Level out the work so you work like the tortoise rather than the hare

Use the pull model rather than the push

Reduce waste: reduce the number of steps in every process. This saved time and energy at several levels

Trust, responsibility and reliability is what the Toyota philosophy revels in. To keep the trust of both partners and customers it follow the zero violation principles. Therefore once a policy is set it cannot be changed for anyone.

Unlike most companies the aim of Toyota is not to be profitable in-house. The mission and guiding principle is "reasonable return" to the stock holders, who it considers the real owners of the company.

Most importantly Toyota successfully instilled a pride and responsibility in the mindset of every employee to exceed customer requirements.

-Deepali Gupta

 
     
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