September 17, 2012

Team Work @ Toyota, Japan

Most companies say that teamwork is critical to success, but saying this is much easier than living it. Dig a bit below the surface in most areas of human endeavor, whether it's a company or a sports team, and you'll find that people talk about teamwork, but are interested first in their individual accomplishments. At Toyota, the view that individual success can happen only within the team and that teams benefit from the personal growth of individuals is built into the promotion process (which focuses heavily on team behavior) and incentives for performance (where individual incentives are only a small component, while team based incentives predominate). Teamwork does not mean that individuals are not responsible. 

Critical to Toyota's success is single point accountability - one person's name goes up next to each item in an action plan. But in order to succeed, the individual responsible must work with the team, drawing on its collective talents, listening closely to all team member's opinions, working to build consensus, and ultimately giving any credit for success to the team.

In many ways, this is the most fundamental of the core values. Respect is a broader concept than the pillar of Respect for People, starting with the desire to contribute to society through producing the best possible products and services. This extends to resect for the community, customers, employees, and all business partners. IT means that every Toyota team member must take responsibility for his actions and their effects on others.

No comments:

Post a Comment