OCTOBER 3, 2020
In the 1990s Toyota’s principles of production equipment became “simple, slim, and flexible,” which some people might interpret as “go slow and be cautious in adopting new technology.” In today’s age of lightning speed in the digital world, Jeff Liker’s new book, The Toyota Way (Oct., 2020) says that would be a mistake. His message is: “adapt technology that supports your people and processes.” Where are real needs that technology can address to help achieve corporate goals? This is a question of pulling technology based on the opportunity, instead of pushing the technology because it is the latest fad. The key issue, writes Liker, is to avoid the temptation to buy and implement the latest gee-whiz digital tools, and instead to thoughtfully integrate technology with highly developed people and processes.