29. The Elegant Solution
Auteur(s): Matthew May
Aantal pagina’s: 236
“Toyota is becoming a double threat: the world’s <nest manufacturer and a truly great
innovator . . . that formula, a combination of production prowess and technical innovation, is
an unbeatable recipe for success.”
— Fortune, February 2006
For the <rst time, an insider reveals the formula behind Toyota’s unceasing quest to
innovate and do more with less, a philosophy that has made it one of the ten most pro<table
companies in the world (and worth more than GM, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, and Honda
combined). In a rare look into Toyota’s ability to consistently achieve breakthroughs that
outperform the competition, The Elegant Solution explains what Toyota associates have
known all along: it’s not about the cars. Rather, Toyota’s astounding success is just the visible
result of a hidden creative process that begins with a seven-digit number.
One million. That’s how many new ideas the Toyota organization implements every year.
These ideas come from every level of the organization — from the factory =oors to the
corporate suites. And organizations all over the world want to learn how it’s done. Now
senior University of Toyota advisor Matthew May shows how any company can achieve an
environment of everyday innovation and discover the kinds of elegant solutions that hold the
power to change the game forever. World-class benchmarks like Lexus, Prius, Scion — even
Toyota’s vaunted production system — are simply shining examples of elegant solutions.
104 | The Elegant Solution
A tactical playbook for team-based innovation, The Elegant Solution delivers powerful
lessons in breakthrough thinking in a provocative yet practical guide to the three core
principles and ten key practices that shape successful business innovation. Innovation isn’t
just about technology — it’s about value, opportunity, and impact. When a company embeds
a real discipline around tapping ingenuity in the pursuit of perfection, the sky is the limit.
Dozens of case studies (from Toyota and other companies) illustrate the universal power
and applicability of these concepts. A unique ”clamshell strategy” prepares managers to
successfully lead and sustain the innovation effort.
At once a thought-starter and a taskmaster, The Elegant Solution is a vital prescription for
anyone wanting to truly master business innovation.
Highlights van het boek:
1. interessante inzichten, zoals “kaizen reduces the resistance to change” (blz 175)
2. of deze “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing mote to add, but when there is
nothing to take away” (blz 180, Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
3. the de facto incubator for consistent business innovation, it’s the practice that fosters a
strong ethos of labile curiosity in companies like Toyota. And it’s a proven, grassroots way
to harvest human creativity.
Dit is het waargebeurde verhaal van Paul, zoals beschreven in het boek “The Elegant Solution,
Toyota’s formula for mastering innovation”. blz 24
“Never in a million years would I tell this work is creative. Then Toyota took over 20 years ago.
They teach us their system then say to us “we want you to tell us how we make it better”. We
went from “just do your job” with General Motors to “no one knows the job better than you”
They teach us how to solve problems. They turn us loose in here! They say, stop the line
anytime if something is wrong. I was =oored. They think I can make their systems better?
They’re giving me the power to stop production? That right changed my life. All of a sudden
I’m looking for ways to <x problems, make improvements, basically get rid of anything that
was stupid. Get rid of waste, they said. Perfect the operation, they said.
So now all of a sudden I’m using my head., I’m the expert. I’m creating new procedures.
There you go, creating. I guess there’s an art to it, yeah. It’s not like I carved a Corolla or
anything, but I started getting real pride back. Before we didn’t care, we were ashamed to say
where we worked. We’d laugh when we saw a car that came out of here. Now we feel like, hey,
I built that! The place got cleaned up. We stopped <ghting. We all wore the same uniforms,
even managers. We started thinking, hey, people are driving these cars, let’s make them safe.
My mark’s all over this place, like everyone else’s. One year we did like eight thousand ideas.
The job itself wasn’t creative, never will be, but our job was to be creative. And I guess if you
can be creative in this line of work, you can be creative anywhere.
The Elegant Solution | 105