Book Study Guide for The Toyota Way 2nd Edition
Group study and discussion questions, plus a suggested schedule
Jeffrey Liker has been studying Toyota since the early 1980s. He wrote the first edition of The Toyota Way in 2004 to explain the deep, people-centered philosophy at the core of TPS (the Toyota Production System). At the time, “Lean Manufacturing” was a fad, but much of it consisted of copying Toyota’s visible “Lean Tools” and was motivated primarily by cost-cutting and profit-enhancement. Reading The Toyota Way during a vacation in 2008 changed my professional life. I was immediately captured by the “triple-win” benefit that would result from full realization of Toyota’s system: happy customers, fulfilled team-members, and a healthy company. In The Toyota Way 2nd Edition (TW2), Liker shares what he’s learned from 15 more years of study, teaching, and consulting. To his credit—and his level of humility is unusual—Liker explains how his thinking has changed in some areas, and adjusts his 14-point model in a few key ways. TW2 is the best summary I know of the entire Lean system. It puts people at the center, and emphasizes that Lean leaders must develop ALL of an organization’s people in scientific thinking if they are to achieve the dual goal of efficient value-creation AND continuous improvement.
Liker is a college professor, and his book isn’t light reading. But it rewards careful study and re-reading. I eventually had to take my first edition of Toyota Way to a book-binder to get it re-bound and thereby preserve all my notes and underlining. I’m well on my way to a repeat with TW2. I think it would be wise for any leadership team to carefully study TW2 as one of their first steps in adopting Lean. That’s why I have led multiple TW2 book studies, and why I have produced this study guide.
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.