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Toyota Kata
by Mike Rother

List Price: $32.00


This game-changing book puts you behind the curtain at Toyota, providing new insight into the legendary automaker's management practices and offering practical guidance for leading and developing people in a way that makes the best use of their brainpower.

Drawing on six years of research into Toyota's employee-management routines, Toyota Kata examines and elucidates, for the first time, the company's organizational routines—called kata—that power its success with continuous improvement and adaptation. The book also reaches beyond Toyota to explain issues of human behavior in organizations and provide specific answers to questions such as:

  • How can we make improvement and adaptation part of everyday work throughout the organization?
  • How can we develop and utilize the capability of everyone in the organization to repeatedly work toward and achieve new levels of performance?
  • How can we give an organization the power to handle dynamic, unpredictable situations and keep satisfying customers?

Mike Rother explains how to improve our prevailing management approach through the use of two kata: Improvement Kata—a repeating routine of establishing challenging target conditions, working step-by-step through obstacles, and always learning from the problems we encounter; and Coaching Kata—a pattern of teaching the improvement kata to employees at every level to ensure it motivates their ways of thinking and acting.

With clear detail, an abundance of practical examples, and a cohesive explanation from start to finish, Toyota Kata gives executives and managers at any level actionable routines of thought and behavior that produce superior results and sustained competitive advantage.


  • Introduction—Transforming our Understanding of Leadership and Management
  • PART I: The Situation
    • Chapter 1: What Defines a Company that Thrives Long Term?
  • PART II: Know Yourself
    • Chapter 2: How Are We Approaching Process Improvement?
    • Chapter 3: Philosophy and Direction
    • Chapter 4: Origin and Effects of Our Current Management Approach
  • PART III: The Improvement Kata: How Toyota Continuously Improves
    • Chapter 5: Planning: Establishing a Target Condition
    • Chapter 6: Problem Solving and Adapting: Moving Toward a Target Condition
  • PART IV: The Coaching Kata: How Toyota Teaches the Improvement Kata
    • Chapter 7: Who Carries Out Process Improvement at Toyota?
    • Chapter 8: The Coaching Kata—Leaders as Teachers
  • PART V: Replication: What About Other Companies?
    • Chapter 9: Developing Improvement Kata Behavior in Your Organization
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography
  • Appendix 1: Where Do You Start With the Improvement Kata?
  • Appendix 2: How to Analyze a Production Process

This title is also available as an e-book from Amazon or Apple.

Publisher:  McGraw-Hill
ISBN-13:  978-0-07-163523-3
SKU:  5233
Publication Date:  August 4, 2009
Number of Pages:  306
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Mike Rother Mike is co-author of two groundbreaking LEI workbooks, Learning to See: value-stream mapping to add value and eliminate muda, which received a Shingo Research Award in 1999 and Creating Continuous Flow: an action guide for managers, engineers and production associates, which received a Shingo Award in 2003. He co-developed the accompanying Training to See kit that teaches facilitators how to run value-stream mapping workshops. His latest book is Toyota Kata (McGraw-Hill). Mike is an engineer, a researcher, teacher, consultant, and speaker on the subjects of management, leadership, improvement, adaptiveness, and change in human organizations. His affiliations have included the Industrial Technology Institute (Ann Arbor), the University of Michigan College of Engineering, the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (Stuttgart), and the Technical University Dortmund. Mike began his career in the manufacturing division of Thyssen AG in Germany. He lives in Ann Arbor, MI, and Cologne, Germany.
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