Keep calm and develop yourself

Last week I’ve finished reading a book: The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership. Achieving and Sustaining Excellence Through Leadership Development. It made a great impression on me. The Toyota Way changes the thinking about the business.

How to develop yourself to be in accordance with the Toyota Way? The answer is Shu Ha Ri. It is a Japanese martial art concept, and describes the stages of learning to masteryshu-ha-ri

  1. Shu. Learning fundamentals about our job and duties in accordance with the company’s standard under the supervision. We and the product, we creating, should be protected against the failure.
  2. Ha. Being a master doing our daily tasks without any supervision or protection, but our progress should be still precisely monitored.
  3. Ri. Using collected knowledge to creatively solve existing problems, improving existing processes and solutions, teach others how to be a master. Do you want to be my sensei?

To understand Toyota Way we need to understand that Shu Ha Ri is an infinite process. There is always a place to learn something, then we should start with Shu stage one more time. How to develop yourself when we are at the top (or we think that we are at the top)? Toyota gives us an answer. Your knowledge may be useful in other place, e.g different department which got into troubles or even different company. This is an example for horizontal promotion. Toyota leaders are called T-type leaders. They had been working in many different departments before they  were promoted vertically. They had an opportunity to grow like a treeWhen you have gained deep-rooted expertise in your “home area”, it is time to broaden your leadership skills by branching out to other departments and sometimes even the entire enterprise. Horizontal promotion is as important and valuable as vertical one.


2 thoughts on “Keep calm and develop yourself

  1. As a previous Pro technician I had to bring the Toyota touch to the whole family dynamic being unwavering in the whole concept of Toyota quality when I did no-one changed their internal dynamics they stayed who they were. So why should I change who I am. Mr Kirby can attest to my engine diagnostic skills but I cant change people. So why should I excerci sing my laziness to keep trying to fix the home dynamic simply put I refuse to deal with a troublesome customer. Get a service advisor to do it. I have run out of nice words so simply put go fuck yourself PS if given a chance I would rather take my skillset to your competitor Lambourghini. How would you advise me on the appropriate course of action. Knowing Toyota they would say with reference to your reference we are unable to offer you unemployment despite your impressive record on quality management especially under extreme conditions. In essence go fuck myself. As long as we are clear on both ends Talk to your service advisor if you need help that is what he is paid for.

    • It is almost impossible to change the people without showing them an alternative. Furthermore, this alternative should be safe and attractive for them. The fear it is the worst feeling that might appear during the learning process e.g the fear of being late or even worse: fear of being useless. High quality means always less work in the future. Less work in the company means, we may lose our job or… sometimes there is a chance for the creative ideas and creative people. On the other hand the ideas might to be too risky for our company.

      In my opinion we haven’t a trust to our company and we are afraid of losing a job. This is why we doesn’t like any changes.

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