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Toyota Kata: Managing People for Improvement, Adaptiveness and Superior Results Hardcover – Aug 11 2009


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Toyota Kata: Managing People for Improvement, Adaptiveness and Superior Results + The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World's Greatest Manufacturer + The Toyota Way to Continuous Improvement:  Linking Strategy and Operational Excellence to Achieve Superior Performance
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (Aug. 11 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071635238
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071635233
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 16.1 x 2.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #19,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mike Rother lays out a very clear thesis and subsequent approach to educate and guide the reader in re-calibrating certain misconceptions of lean that have become the norm in the West when modeling the Toyota way. This book is aimed more at intermediate and above level practitioners of lean, focusing on management posture, thinking and approach for understanding, coaching and applying improvement katas the true Toyota way on the uncertain journey to a long term vision.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 71 reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Great Book Nov. 16 2009
By Former Automotive Tier One Divisional President and current Management Consultant - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
There seems to be a growing consensus that our current management model, devised in conditions that prevailed 75 years ago, is in need of adjustment. However, the burning question that still has to be answered is, to what should it be adjusted? Until that happens it's going to be difficult for leaders to change how their organizations operate. We are still missing specifics that instruct managers and leaders in what they should actually do day-to-day in order to manage more effectively and successfully in today's market conditions.

Maybe this is beginning to shift. Toyota Kata explains in clear how-to detail a way of managing people that makes a company more adaptive, innovative and constantly improving. Although the research was done in manufacturing facilities and with an eye on Toyota, Toyota Kata is more about developing and utilizing human capabilities in organizations. In short, this book lays out a management approach for today's dynamic conditions.

This is not only one of the most noteworthy books on lean management, but an insightful and practical new guide for any manager or leader. Highly recommended.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Must read now! Sept. 11 2009
By Michael Balle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
if you're involved in lean work in any capacity, whether in management, as a coach or as a participants to lean events, you must read this book now. It's a game changer. I wish I'd read this book ten years ago, it would have made so much, much easier. I've already ordered extra copies to give to friends and colleagues.

Rother has attacked directly a mystery about Toyota's success - the secret of what makes it a real-life example of learning organization, not just at senior level, but all the way to team leaders and team members. Indeed, he has succeeded in the tour de force of capturing the double-loop learning mechanism Toyota has developed. And he also succeeds in putting it across simply and practically with great examples. Beyond lean, this book offers deep insight into how business strategy can be derived from learning mechanism to avoid grand visions which also turn out to be grandly wrong. I suspect (or at least hope) that Rother's insights will open the door to another form of strategy formulation.

In many ways this book can either be seen as the result of twenty years of research on the mystery of Toyota and the TPS, or one the breakthrough stepping stones that will usher a new era of management thinking about how we look upon the human use of human beings at work. Thumbs up!
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
The Next Level of Thinking in Operations Management Dec 28 2009
By Sustainable Operations - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The contents of this book should be be viewed as a major management breakthrough for "Managing People for Improvement, Adaptiveness and Superior Results". Sometimes the 'Toyota' portion in a title will lead readers to think that this is just about manufacturing. It does not - it applies to all business operations, including back office funcions like purchasing and supply management, and should be required reading for those wondering how to take their 'lean' operations to the next level.

At Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI), we critically evaluate the paradigm of sustainable operations with a focus on what Dr. H. Thomas Johnson summarizes as Management by Means (MBM) instead of Management by Ends. BGI focuses on entrepreneur-ism, innovation, social justice and sustainability. Mike Rother's book is an excellent primer for practioner's discussing how to best lead people in achieving superior operational results while following a natural system approach.

In this book, Mike Rother moves beyond the 14 management principles so carefully laid out by Jeffrey Liker and helps the reader understand how to make his/her organization more innovative and flexible, while continually improving. This is the next step in continuous improvement.

When combined with the building blocks contained in Jeffrey Liker's "The Toyota Way", and Stephen Spear's "Chasing the Rabbit", Mike Rother has created a new guide for practitioners leading continuous improvement and systems thinking in operations management. This book is highly recommended.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Perhaps the Most Important Book on Lean in the last 10 Years Feb. 16 2010
By Mr. Ross Maynard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"Toyota Kata" could be the most important book on "lean" since "The Toyota Way". Based on six years research at Toyota, Mike Rother's book provides a very readable and straightforward approach to embedding continuous improvement - putting the "principles" of the Toyota Production System into action.

Interestingly, Mr Rother argues that the "Kaizen Event" approach to improvement is not effective or sustainable because, at best, each process area will only get one or two bursts of improvement in a year. This is not continuous improvement and does truly engage the workforce. He also argues that such events produce lists of improvements which are taken on by engineers and managers as "projects" to be completed. The project approach to improvement has little impact on changing the culture of the organisation.

Instead Mike Rother argues for constant daily improvement - thus "kata" - a simple PDCA routine which is enacted every day by everyone in the process, and supported and coached by managers and team leaders who have roughly 50% of their time allocated to teaching this approach to improvement. Small step-by-step improvements are more effective over time than occasional kaizen bursts, and have a significantly greater impact on the organisation culture -creating an environment of involvement and improvement.

The book describes this "improvement kata" routine with a rapid cycle of small improvements. It is one of the most interesting books I have read in years. The "lean tools" are touched on briefly - described as methods for highlighting obstacles in a controlled manner for improvement - but this book is about the behavioural routines that, by persistent and regular teaching at all levels in the organisation, become the embedded culture.

Everyone working in the field of lean, in any industry or organisation, should read this book. It will open your eyes to what is really necessary. If you only read one business book this year, then this should be it. This book has changed my thinking on lean - particularly on implementation. It is truly an excellent work.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Former Big 3 Competitive Intelligence Dec 17 2009
By Don L - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Toyota Production System has two distinctive characteristics: Just in Time Production and the "Respect for Human."

Most Lean or TPS transformation efforts concentrate on the more visible aspects of "Just in Time" such as cellular machine placement, 5S or Kanban.

This is one of the reasons why most "Lean" implementations either never get off the ground or if initially successful return to the previous production system within 5 years.

Trying to implement TPS or Lean without the "Respect for Human" aspects is like trying to climb a mountain wearing roller skates. The rest of your "kit" may be spot on but this one item will undermine the entire effort.

Mike Rother has created a very useful book with Toyota Kata. It is a book for practitioners who actually want to create a sustainable lean organization. It presents a "No Stars in Your Eyes" perspective on how Toyota managers get "all" employees to engage their brains toward achieving goals everyday. Not only does he explain how Toyota does this but shares his own organizational experiences so you can do this in yours.

This is not just a manufacturing book-Toyota uses these methods throughout its company--from the boardroom to the shop floor. If you truly want to understand Toyota and its production system; this is one of the most revealing and useful books of the last 10 years

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