Dr. Jeffrey K. Liker is Professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan, owner of Liker Lean Advisors, LLC, Partner in The Toyota Way Academy, and Partner in Lean Leadership Institute. Dr. Liker has authored or co-authored over 75 articles and book chapters and eleven books.
He is author of the international best-seller, The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World’s Greatest Manufacturer, McGraw-Hill, 2004 which speaks to the underlying philosophy and principles that drive Toyota’s quality and efficiency-obsessed culture. The companion (with David Meier) The Toyota Way Fieldbook, McGraw Hill, 2005 details how companies can learn from the Toyota Way principles. His book with Jim Morgan, The Toyota Product Development System, Productivity Press, 2006, is the first that details the product development side of Toyota. Additional books in The Toyota Way Series are (with David Meier), Toyota Talent: Developing exceptional people the Toyota Way (May, 2007), (with Michael Hoseus) Toyota Culture: The Heart and Soul of the Toyota Way (January, 2008), (with Gary Convis) The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership (2012), (with James Franz) The Toyota Way to Continuous Improvement (2012), (with Tim Ogden) Toyota Under Fire (2012), and (with George Trachilis) Developing Lean Leaders The Toyota Way (2014). His articles and books have won eleven Shingo Prizes for Research Excellence and The Toyota Way also won the 2005 Institute of Industrial Engineers Book of the Year Award and 2007 Sloan Industry Studies Book of the Year.
In 2012 he was inducted into the Association of Manufacturing Excellence Hall of Fame. He is a frequent keynote speaker and consultant. Recent clients include Caterpillar, Applied Materials, Siemens, Dover Industries, Kraft-Oscar Meyer, Alcatel-Lucent, Hertz, Solar Turbine, Art Van Furniture and Henry Ford Health Systems.
After serving in the Navy, Jim completed a four-year apprenticeship, learning to weld, machine and fabricate one-off tools and parts for prototype and experimental vehicles. He continued his formal education, eventually earning a Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of Michigan while simultaneously working his way through various leadership positions. Later he became Vice President at start-up Troy Design and Manufacturing Company (TDM). Here he helped lead this start-up to become a successful tier-one, global automotive supplier of engineering services, prototypes, tools, and low-volume parts and assemblies.
After leaving TDM, Dr. Morgan worked for 10 years at Ford Motor Company. For his final eight years he served as Director, Global Body Exterior and SBU Engineering. In this capacity, he and his team contributed to the company’s historic product-led revitalization under then-CEO Alan Mulally.
Jim is currently Senior Advisor and founder of the Lean Product and Process Development initiative at the Lean Enterprise Institute. The LPPD initiative is building a community of practice and research to expand the application and understanding of LPPD. Together with LEI coaches and faculty, Jim works with organizations across diverse industries around the world to improve their product development capability.
Dr. Morgan’s research into product development at the University of Michigan won two Shingo Prizes for Research Excellence. He co-authored (with Dr. Jeffrey Liker) the award-winning book The Toyota Product Development System as well as several articles on product development for the Sloan Management Review, The Engineering Management Journal and other publications. He has also developed and taught graduate courses on lean manufacturing and product development.
His most recent book is Designing the Future, co-authored with Jeff Liker.