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Extreme Toyota: Radical Contradictions That Drive Success at the World's Best Manufacturer




Extreme Toyota: Radical Contradictions That Drive Success at the World's Best Manufacturer

Emi Osono, Norihiko Shimizu, Hirotaka Takeuchi

ISBN: 978-0-470-26762-2 June 2008 320 Pages


Extreme Toyota offers the first real, comprehensive inside look at what makes one of the world?s best companies run. With unprecedented access to the inner working of Toyota, the authors spent six years researching the company, interviewing hundreds of executives and employees, and discovering the company's secret of success. What they uncovered will surprise you and change the way you think about business. Simultaneously rigidly traditional and seriously innovative, it is precisely those internal contradictions that make the company so successful and admired.

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Preface xi

CHAPTER 1 Extreme Toyota: An Organization Powered by Creative Contradictions 1

An Amazing Track Record 1

The Hard Side of Toyota 3

The Powerful and Mysterious Soft Side 3

How Toyota Is Like a Failed, Stagnant Company 4

Management Orchestrated Contradictions,Opposites, and Paradoxes 8

Embracing Contradictions as a Way of Life 19

Conclusion 20

CHAPTER 2 Six Opposing Forces That Drive the Company’s Expansion—and Keep It from Breaking Apart 23

Forces of Expansion 25

Forces of Integration 30

Six Forces Working Together 34

Resource Base 35

Six Forces in Action: Case of the Lexus 38

Conclusion 42

CHAPTER 3 The Force of Impossible Goals 43

Meet Every Customer Need 45

The Finest Cars, the Finest Dealers 51

Bypassing Japan to Make a Global Car 57

Conclusion 64

CHAPTER 4 Eagerness  to Experiment 67

Experimentation Hardware:The Eight-Step and A3 Processes 73

Experimentation Software: Values 86

Conclusion 92

CHAPTER 5  Local Customization 95

The Underdog Even at Home 98

Customizing the IMV in Asia 99

The Challenges and Benefits of Local Customization 100

Customizing the Yaris for Europe 102

Customizing the Scion for the United States Youth Segment 105

Customizing the Tundra for the United States 115

Disseminating Local Best Practices throughout the World 116

Conclusion 118

CHAPTER 6 The Founders’ Philosophies 121

Tomorrow Will Be Better than Today 124

Everybody Should Win 129

Customer First, Dealers Second, and Manufacturer Last 135

Genchi Genbutsu 139

Conclusion 141

CHAPTER 7 Toyota’s Nerve System—A Human Version of the World Wide Web 143

Open and Lateral Dissemination of Know-How 146

Freedom to Voice Contrary Opinions 149

Frequent Face-to-Face Interaction 154

Making Tacit Knowledge Explicit: The Toyota Way 2001 158

Formal and Informal Support Mechanisms 161

Conclusion 163

CHAPTER 8 Up-and-In Human Resource Management 165

Stable, Long-Term Employment 169

Emphasis on Training,Training, and More Training 172

Power in Teamwork 177

Action Orientation 178

Learning-Based Evaluation 180

Conclusion 183

CHAPTER 9 Toyota’s Resource Base 185

Investing in Efficiency 187

Cultivating Organizational Capability and People Required for Growth 191

Making a Long-Term Commitment to People 198

Conclusion 206

CHAPTER 10 A Company Always in Danger 211

Organizational Growth Pains 212

Employee Complacency 214

Cultural Rigidity 216

Workforce Diversity 218

Insular Approach to the Capital Markets 220

Rise of New Competitors 221

Conclusion 223

CHAPTER 11 What Your Organization Can Learn from Toyota: Ten Powerful Contradictions 225

Embrace Contradictions 229

Conclusion 238

Appendix A Selected Auto Industry Figures and Comparisons 241

Chapter 1—Extreme Toyota 241

Chapter 2—Six Forces 248

Chapter 3—Impossible Goals 253

Chapter 9—Resources 254

Appendix B Literature Review 257

Literature Review Methodology 258

Notes 263

References 287

Index 297

"Heavily footed and studded with graphs and charts, this insider's view of one of the world's leading manufacturers is somewhat academic in tone yet has enough anecdotes to make it interesting." (Library Journal, May 15, 2008)