The Open Secret of Success: Toyota: The New Yorker

Although the New Yorker is a favorite read, I do not often think of it as a top source for business news. But as the New Yorker often does, it surprises me.

This particular article caught my attention. And imagination.

The Open Secret of Success: Toyota: The New Yorker

It's an interesting snapshot to the well known methods of management in Japan and specifically at Toyota. There's certainly several things to learn from this article.We have formed an alliance with the Toyota through their current Hybrid Living campaign for their Lexus nameplate hybrids. See here under our Partners & Associations. While Toyota lives in an industry that is damaging to our environment, they are out in front building in innovation at every turn.In the news reported by Grist today, the pioneer Prius has sold 1 million cars, over half in North America. Additional comments from WIRED- It's hard to believe it now, but the Prius was a hell of gamble when Toyota unveiled in in 1997, when gas was cheap, SUVs ruled the earth and global warming was only beginning to penetrate mainstream consciousness. Today the Prius is the gold standard for eco-friendly vehicles and Toyota has expanded its hybrid line to include the Camry and Highlander.- The Prius is the cash cow, and Toyota will unveil the next-generation model at the Detroit auto show in January. Auto Observer says it will be bigger, cleaner and more fuel efficient. Toyota also is developing a plug-in version that could be in showrooms by 2010.The New Yorker article highllghts a key aspect to Toyota's company culture that we greatly admire.A distinctive element of Toyota’s approach is defining innovation as an incremental process, in which the goal is not to make huge, sudden leaps but, rather, to make things better on a daily basis. The fundamental ethos of kaizen - slow and steady improvement is a principle we prescribe to at here at bambu. It's not about the touchdown pass, but about the short and steady gains.Why is Toyota #1? Simple: a culture of ongoing, continuing, relentless incremental improvement. Toyota’s innovative methods may seem mundane, but their sheer relentlessness defeats many companies. That’s why Toyota can afford to hide in plain sight: it knows the system is easy to understand but hard to follow.An article worth reading. An approach worth seriously considering.

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