Learn How Toyota Develops a Kaizen Spirit

Are you really putting lean into practice? Lots of companies say they do, but when we walk through their value streams it becomes obvious that they are missing key elements of sound implementation:

  • Can you show links (the why) between your improvements and your organisation’s purpose?
  • Do you have clear standards so you can identify performance gaps?
  • Is everyone (at all levels) coming to work to do their job and make improvements to it?
  • Do you have defined learning processes to make these elements happen?

A key question addressed at our UK Lean Summit is the discussion of “How the best companies develop and engage team members – developing a kaizen mindset or spirit?” We have invited Mark Siddall and Kenny Barlow from Toyota’s Lean Management Centre (based at their engine plant in Deeside, North Wales) to provide both a 30-minute plenary and a 1 hour 45 minute learning session on the subject.

In addition, we’ve asked Sharon Visser, former Dealer Principal of Ngami Halfway Toyota, in Botswana to discuss “What basic thinking, mindset and assumptions drive lean change?” and to provide a learning session on “Practical cases for Introducing Kaizen.” We are also hosting a free webinar this Thursday with Sharon about the Kaizen learning session (find out more information about the webinar here).

Kaizen at different levels in the organisation

Kaizen is one of the core principles of the Toyota Way and Toyota Production System. The English translation is, broadly speaking, continuous improvement. ‘Kai’ means ‘change’ and ‘zen’ means ‘for the better’. It is a philosophy that helps to ensure maximum quality, the elimination of waste, and improvements in efficiency, both in terms of equipment and work processes.

In addition to the Summit sessions, 36 delegates also have the opportunity to visit Toyota’s Deeside Engine Plant for a bespoke “go and see.” Delegates will learn, first-hand how Toyota develops kaizen and see examples at different levels of the organisation. That is:

  • System or flow kaizen focussing on the overall value stream (kaizen for management.)
  • Process or point kaizen focussing on individual processes (kaizen for team leaders and team members.)
Toyota – Deeside

Your guides will illustrate how kaizen humanises the workplace, empowering members to identify improvements and implement practical solutions. Such improvements are key to closing the gaps on a number of our key themes from the Summit, including the productivity challenge and the environmental crisis where Toyota is pioneering the use of karakuri kaizen to reduce energy consumption. If you are interested in attending the visit, please contact us here.

We know that lean thinking and practice are fundamental to closing the productivity gap, to resolving the productivity puzzle, to eliminating waste and creating more value for customers and society. We do hope you will join us to get some ideas for your own lean journey.

Best wishes,

Dave Brunt

Purchase your Place for the UK Lean Summit and Toyota Deeside Visit

Each year customers tell us that our Summit is the not to be missed Lean event of the year for any leader, senior manager or lean practitioner wanting to transform and or sustain the gains from their lean efforts.

The Toyota visit we have organised is NOT included with the UK Lean Summit 2023 ticket, unless you have purchased the ticket package (ticket on the right). The separate cost to attend is £295+VAT, with all proceeds being passed to Toyota’s Charitable Trust. The visit takes place on Thursday 20th April 2023 from 10.00am – 14.00pm.

Pre-Summit Masterclasses to Attend