Today is Day 3 of the Executive Development Mission, and it was an ideal time to take a brief pause on our site visits for a morning of learning with former Toyota executive, Mike Hoseus. An opening point of the discussion was around the “seeds” that we’ve gained on this Japan experience and the importance of prioritizing the ones to plant first as we return home to our own organizations. The session continued with a look at the different models of lean management and showed the underlying philosophy consistent across most.

Our group appreciated first-hand viewpoints on the construction and operation of an effective manager system, work system, and development system. There was large emphasis on the development of Key Performance Indicators, both process and results, and the corresponding catch-ball processes throughout the levels of the organization. To conclude, each individual company group was asked to go through a high-level Purpose, Process, People, Problem-Solving assessment, followed by a present-out to the rest of the groups around the priority areas of improvement.

Our afternoon visit was to yet another impressive Toyota supplier. The organization has been in operation since 1951, and the 3rd generation Chairman & CEO spoke about how the long-standing relationship with Toyota had been fruitful since the time of his founding grandfather. In addition to impressive kaizen demonstrations, the visit provided a wonderful look into a safety-conscious culture as the “safety dojo” was a main area of emphasis. The group particularly appreciated the actualization of the underlying philosophy – “Safety is the foundation of business activities and is the top priority of all employees and their families to work without compromise in order to live a happy life in both public and private.”

Tomorrow will feature 2 site visits, one to a technology recycling facility, and the other to a automotive and informational parts manufacturer in the Toyota family. We’re over halfway though this edition of the EDM, and it is particularly enjoyable to observe the amount of brainstorming and discussion from each one of the participants around their learnings and take-aways thus far.

Thanks for sharing the mission with us!