By Jon Miller | Post Date: February 5, 2007 6:21 AM | Comments: 4
We teach the Toyota system. We want to teach it to as many people as want to learn about it. As a consequence we think we provide Toyota with good PR. It seems not everyone at Toyota headquarters agrees.
Here is an e-mail we received last week from someone working at Toyota headquarters in Japan. I'll protect their identity since 1) they didn't ask to have their message read by thousands of people they don't know, and 2) the e-mail was from an AOL account so it may have well been a fake.
I work for Toyota here in Nagoya, Japan and the proud holder of the Title of Lean Teacher. One of only four Americans to hold such a title that was taught by Taichii Ohno san and Dr. Shingo san before they passed away..
WOW. This person seems unhappy. Perhaps they need to spend less time worrying about what some self-proclaimed kaizen experts in America are saying or doing and spend more time on the gemba. As a Lean Teacher, this person could do far more good there.
No one at Gemba holds a title in Kaizen, so I am not exactly sure what this person is talking about. Many of us did indeed spend weeks or months learning in Japan or from teachers from Toyota group companies who came from Japan, former students of Taiichi Ohno. At least a couple of us have worked with Shingo.
But it's not what you know or who you knew, it's what you do. The vast majority of people doing the most important work with Lean today have never been to Japan and have not worked with Japanese consultants. The real heroes of Lean are the people struggling to make real improvements on the gemba to keep real jobs local.
What matters is not the certificates you hold or how close you were to Ohno and Shingo. What matters is how you are using your knowledge to do good for others, today.Comments are moderated to filter spam and inappropriate content. There may be a delay before your comment is published.