Business Book Review

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Toyota Way - by Jeffrey K. Liker - Reading Suggestions

Reading Suggestions

Reading Time: 28-30 Hours, 352 Pages in Book

Liker notes that if you follow only a select few of the Toyota principles, the “result will be short-term jumps on performance measures that are not sustainable.” And, Fujio Cho, president of Toyota Motor Company, says that what is unique about Toyota’s remarkable success is putting all the elements of the Toyota Way together as a system and practicing this system daily and consistently, not in parts. Thus, as far as we’re concerned, if implementation doesn’t work in bits and pieces, fits and starts, there’s no point in reading this book in bits and pieces, fits and starts. Even if your company has already “dabbled” in TPS (especially, if you’ve merely dabbled), your greatest value lies in practicing a little genchi genbutsu from the beginning and discovering and understanding as much as possible about the purpose of The Toyota Way, the centrality of people in that purpose, and appropriately applying that understanding to your particular situation.

Liker is a longtime fan of the Toyota Way and brings the incisive energy of a perennial admirer to his vigorous, articulate, and accessible discussion. The book is an easy read, and each chapter is mercifully short and to the point, but you should not expect to just zip through. Our estimated reading time of 28 to 30 hours might be an overestimate, but we want to impress upon you the importance of taking your time. We suspect that you will want to take notes, take time to reflect, and perhaps even reread much of the material. In any event, you should perhaps plan ahead, schedule a block of time each day, and prepare to read no more than two or three chapters each sitting.


  • I'm translating this Toyota Way book and it is so badly written that I laugh out loud. Liker should take writing classes. And the way he sucks up to the Toyota leaders just makes me sick.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 3:01 PM  

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