Lean Frontiers: Are they differences in getting middle management on board from getting executive management support?
Are there differences in getting middle management from executive management on board for 1) developing the lean enterprise and 2) direct engagement on their part? What are the differences, if any?
Posted on May 9, 2015
Archives by Tag 'Safety'
Pascal Dennis

Pascal Dennis: Safety was always first at Toyota

By Pascal Dennis, - Last updated: Saturday, April 3, 2010
Dear Dr. Shein, It’s a pleasure indeed to get a question from you. In my personal experience at Toyota, I found that Safety, pardon the cliche, was always first. First thing discussed at morning production meetings, weekly status reviews, mid-year and year-end reviews. Significant safety incidents including near misses were investigated within 48 hours. Report outs, or “Safety Auctions”, were lead lineside, usually by the group leader and responsible manager. These investigations went far deeper than in any other company I know, with the possible exception of Dupont. In new model launches, safety and ergonomics, were, again, the first order of business. Once ...

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Michael Balle

Michael Ballé: Quality First, Safety Always

By Michael Balle, co-author of The Gold Mine and The Lean Manager - Last updated: Friday, March 19, 2010
Would Toyota sacrifice safety for profits? I have no idea how to test such a hypothesis, but I find it highly unlikely. If culture is made visible by behavior, one of the first things that impressed me with Toyota engineers as I observed them working with suppliers, was their unique focus on people before machinery or parts. Certainly, their safety focus was much higher than anything we’d seen before, and they played a strong part in raising safety awareness across the board. Indeed, one of the first points I personally raise in doing lean with any company is safety and ergonomics. ...

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Steven Spear

Steve Spear: commitment to safety is unwavering, but perfection hits bumps in the road

By Steven Spear, - Last updated: Monday, March 15, 2010
Thanks for the question. With all due respect to Professor Schein, there are other alternative explanations to "abandon safety" or "safety never part of their culture."  It is entirely possible (more likely) that safety--both workplace and product--remains part of their culture but maintaining perfection hit bumps in the road. These bumps in the road are: 1: The need to develop an increasing number of great problem solvers at an accelerating rate because of business expansion. 2: The need to develop people's problems solving skills to greater depth because of increasing product and process complexity. 3: The difficulty of responding to the weak signals of problems ...

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Jeff Liker

Jeff Liker: The value of Trust – without safety in Toyota, nothing else matters

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: Monday, March 15, 2010
It is interesting to get a question as direct as this, especially coming from a management icon like Edgar Schein.  Notice that the question implies Toyota is not concerned about safety regardless of how one answers. In the current recall crisis certainly the stories formulated by the press paint a picture of an arrogant company that is secretive about safety test results and has put profits before safety.  That message has been reinforced by many outside observers citing secret memos and mountains of data about sudden acceleration incidents over a decade that were ignored until the U.S. Department of Transportation had ...

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Ed Schein: Toyota’s Safety Culture

By , - Last updated: Monday, March 15, 2010
I would be most interested to get reactions to the question:  "What   happened to Toyota?  Did they abandon safety or was safety never part of their culture?"
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