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.