The Toyota Way

The Toyota Way


Liker, Jeffrey K. McGraw-Hill, 2004
Price: $99.


Everyone in the auto industry is so familiar with Toyota’s dramatic business success and world-renowned quality that, as Liker points out, many consider the company to be “boring,” with its steadily growing sales, consistent profitability, huge cash reserves, operational efficiency (combined with constant innovation), and top quality, year after year. But, despite this reputation as the best manufacturer in the world, and despite the huge influence of the lean movement, most attempts to emulate and implement lean production have been fairly superficial, with less than stellar results over the long term.

Liker believes that Toyota’s consistent success is a direct result of its turning operational excellence into a strategic weapon, using such tools and quality improvement methods as just-in-time (JIT) and one-piece flow (that make up the Toyota Production System [TPS]). But its continued success at implementing these tools comes from its philosophy (The Toyota Way), which is based on an understanding of people and what motivates them.

The Toyota Way describes the 14 principles that form the foundation of this uniquely successful management style. Using profiles of a diverse group of organizations, from a variety of industries, it demonstrates how this model of success can be applied in any organization, to improve the quality, efficiency, and speed of any business process, including sales, product development, marketing, logistics, and management.