Book Study Guide for The Toyota Engagement Equation
The Toyota Engagement Equation (TEE) is currently my go-to recommendation for business leaders who are just learning about the Lean Business Culture. In my view, reading this book is one of the best ways to get a “feel” of the Lean culture and the core patterns of behavior, thinking, and people-centered leadership that make it up. Co-authors Tracey and Ernie Richardson were both long-term members of Toyota’s Georgetown, Kentucky factory team. The first 2/3 of the book is Tracey’s story of being interviewed, hired, on-boarded, trained, mentored, promoted, and eventually becoming a Group Leader—one of the most challenging roles in the company. You get a sense of the wonder and nervousness she felt as a 19-year-old entering an organization with the level of discipline and challenge as Toyota. You follow her as she matures and grows in the twin core activities that underlie Toyota’s system: problem-solving and continuous improvement. She takes us on a deep dive into six elements of Toyota’s famed problem-solving method, with a chapter devoted to each. In the last 1/3 of the book, Ernie focuses on how managers work to “engage” everyone, everyday. His chapter, “Management That Puts People First” is outstanding, and has contributed much to my thinking about “PeopleFirstLean.” TEE isn’t hard to read, but the content goes deep and challenges the mind. You should read it! I’ve led books studies on TEE with teams of leaders at several clients.
Book Study Guides includes discussion questions, a suggested schedule of reading assignments, and some notes on conducting an effective group book study. You get both a pdf and a Word document, giving you the option to modify the questions and schedule for your own situation.