May 31 2018
“Are we in the Lean Community lacking imagination and creativity? Indeed, do we take away the time and space for creativity and imagination from employees with our focus on standardizing work and our relentless process analysis […]? Or maybe this is backwards. Is it possible that […] a stable organization with stable processes enables successful innovation? […] Contrast Toyota’s methods with those of other companies generally believed to have brilliant, innovative ideas but no robust development, production, supplier management or even customer support processes, and which are short of funds. Not just Tesla but the whole VC-backed auto start-up industry come to mind.”
Sourced from The Lean Post
Michel Baudin‘s comments:
I don’t understand why Jim Womack restricts the discussion of stability and innovation to the car industry and the comparison with other companies to “VC-backed auto start-ups” that are short of funds. Toyota’s leaders grew the company by doing what they had to do to navigate the Japanese car industry. It is, in retrospect, a spectacularly successful model and worth studying. It is not, however, universally relevant.
Here in the heart of Silicon Valley, we view it as the worldwide hub of innovation, not the Nagoya area. Local entrepreneurs, VC-backed or not, have given us multiple generations of companies that are not exactly short of cash, like Hewlett Packard, Intel, Apple, eBay, Netflix, Google, Facebook,… Some of them are dabbling in the auto industry but most of their revenues come from elsewhere. It doesn’t make their practices and business models any less worthy of study than Toyota’s.