LEI and its team of eager learners just wrapped up a great day at the Miyata Factory, where Toyota manufactures the Lexus RX, NX, CT200, and ES. The day began with a word from Mr. Hideshi Yokoi, followed by a walk through assembly, and ended with a TPS simulation! (The following slideshow collects postcards written by each person with a lesson that they learned today.)
Mr. Yokoi joined Toyota in 1978. His career has been nearly equally divided between the US and Japan - 16 years in the former and 17 in the latter. He has been at the Miyata Plant since 2011. Over his 8 years of overseeing production, he has led the plant two JD Power Platinum awards (2016, 2017), as well as achieved the plant’s highest productivity numbers.
But productivity has hardly been his focus over his tenure. Rather, he focuses team members and managers on quality and safety. “If we get those right, productivity will follow,” he said.
The theme of his talk was “Manufacturing Is Making People.” He emphasized that leadership’s primary role is to make problems visible. And then it’s to give team members the authority and ability to solve those problems. “Let them think. Listen to them. Let them change” were the words he chose to end his talk.
Tomorrow we will take a further deep dive into the Miyata Plant and learn the details behind how TMK develops its people through problem solving. In the meantime, feel free to follow our tour on twitter at #leijapantour.
If you are interested in joining the Lean Leader Learning Tour this September with Jim Womack in Georgetown, Kentucky please contact us at LearningTours@lean.org