Talk:How Toyota became number one
Can this also work in "western business reality"? -- Jolanta Wos 00:15, 30 May 2012 (CEST)
The insights provided in the presentation regarding Toyota's strategy places emphasis on the company's practices to stimulate curiosity and innovative ways of thinking in order to incorporate them in daily business activities. The approach to meticulously research the market needs and demands as potential barrier prior to entry, has made their success durable and established them as one of the leaders in the industry. Sending employees to live in the USA or entrusting younger generation employees to research the respective target groups, turned out to be thriving approach. However, a long list of the company's best practices may appear to be working locally. It remains an area of doubt, whether the numerous culture-specific strategies can be mirrored or at least partially incorporated in the western business acumen.
Tacit knowledge in Toyota's use of Quality Circles -- Kristina Tasheva 14:47, 3 June 2012 (CEST)
If we need to relate the tacit knowledge approach to creating new knowledge, the article "Tacit Knowledge versus Explicit Knowledge: Approaches to Knowledge Management Practice" provides an example of Toyota’s use of Quality Circles. As described there : "When Toyota wants to transfer knowledge of its production system to new employees in a new assembly factory, such as the factory recently opened in Valenciennes, France, Toyota typically selects a core group of two to three hundred new employees and sends them for several months training and work on the assembly line in one of Toyota’s existing factories. After several months of studying the production system and working alongside experienced Toyota assembly line workers, the new workers are sent back to the new factory site. These repatriated workers are accompanied by one or two hundred long-term, highly experienced Toyota workers, who will then work alongside all the new employees in the new factory to assure that knowledge of Toyota’s finely tuned production process is fully implanted in the new factory." And also "At the end of each work week, groups of Toyota production workers spend one to two hours analyzing the performance of their part of the production system to identify actual or potential problems in quality or productivity. Each group proposes “countermeasures” to correct identified problems, and discusses the results of countermeasures taken during the week to address problems identified the week before. Through personal interactions in such Quality Circle group settings, Toyota employees share their ideas for improvement, devise steps to test new ideas for improvement, and assess the results of their tests. This knowledge management practice, which is repeated weekly as an integral part of the Toyota production system, progressively identifies, eliminates, and even prevents errors. As improvements developed by Quality Circles are accumulated over many years, Toyota’s production system has become one of the highest quality production processes in the world (Spear and Bowen 1999)."
In that respect, I completely agree with the comment made above. Toyota, as one of the most successful companies in the world, is in the continuous process of learning in parallel with the changing environment. The company keeps moving by adapting new practices and by implementing systems that facilitate and contribute to the achieving of the best possible results in their production. The example, given in the article is part of the weekly activities of the company that only confirms that Toyota's practices indeed do stimulate curiosity. This of course, finds place in the adaptive Cycle.