“The Toyota Way”

 

Yesterday my daughter took a class discussing, among other things, the business principles of Toyota Motor Corporation.  I enjoyed hearing snippets about continuous improvement—and the 10 percent who willingly labor through changing methods for the long-term benefit.

I looked it up, and The Toyota Way [Liker, 2004] comprises 14 principles under these major concepts:

  • ·          Long-term vision
  • ·          Working on challenges
  • ·          Continual innovation/improvement
  • ·          Elimination of wasted minutes
  • ·          Going to the source of the problem
  • ·          Building respect and teamwork

According to Lily’s teacher, Toyota welcomes tours: no competition is a threat due to their progress in their 100-year vision.

Interestingly, my manager implements some of this:  whenever I’ve added a step, thinking I’m going the extra mile, she’s corrected me.  In fact, she welcomes ideas to streamline.

There are life lessons here. The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.  

  • ·          Who is included in our long-term vision?
  • ·          How are we praying and addressing challenges?
  • ·          What can we do to improve our walk with God?
  • ·          Where can we trim out some wasted time?
  • ·          When am I going to face the source of my sin?
  • ·          How much respect do I have for others?

I have a reputation for being an excellent time manager.  But even at my best, efficiency-talk like this reveals how I’m still a little bit Studebaker (behind the 8-ball).  I’m the type that gets a lot accomplished in a window of time, but that same evening might find me dozing through the last half of a selection from Red Box.  It’s a whole lot of “hurry up and wait.”

Ah, well.  I’ll wind up this post like I always do.  As we all continue in our ministries, jobs, and learning, may we be given vision, effectiveness, innovation, efficiency, and conviction.

Amen.

 

 

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