Jeffrey Liker

In Toyota’s view, you don’t have a problem without a standard. Someone might tell his or her boss, “We’re not meeting our delivery date” or “Our meetings are not happening on time.” And the boss would say, “What is the standard? What would be acceptable lateness?” or “Why is lateness a problem? What is the result of lateness?” As long as the standards are clear, the organization can focus on continuous improvement and ultimately raise those standards. A company that wants to learn from Toyota has to learn an equally robust type of problem solving. It’s hard to imagine a company thriving that doesn’t have a good problem-solving process.

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