Did Toyota make excuses in the 1950s when they started competing in the global automotive industry? Did they hold themselves back by making excuses about being hampered by relatively a small Japanese market? Did they make excuses about people viewing Japanese products as low quality? No! Instead of making excuses, Toyota got creative. As they developed the Toyota Production System, their Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) methodology helped them produce smaller quantities more affordably. They couldn’t beat GM and Ford at their own game; Toyota found new ways to compete and eventually reached the pinnacle of the industry.
Looking at your own organization today, do you hold yourself back by making excuses or do you get creative and find new ways of doing things? Many organizations aspire to a culture of continuous improvement… at least for a while, until it gets difficult. Leaders say things like, “We don’t have time for improvement.” Is that an excuse that leads you to give up or is that a problem that you can solve with a bit of moxie and creativity?
This was the focus of my lean talk at this year’s Lean Transformation Summit. Watch the video below and I’d love to hear your thoughts.