I started playing guitar when I was 13 up until I was 29. I played every day for at least an hour. I wouldn’t go to visit a family member or on vacation. I went to Europe, and I went to Israel. I have had my guitar. However, I didn’t take lessons. When I was 57, I started taking guitar lessons. The first thing the guitar teacher asked me to do is he asked me to play something. and I did, and then he said pluck a single string, so he just asked me to go like this. I pluck the string, and the big deal, yeah, I’ve been doing that for most of my life. Then he said, try to pluck the string so that your nail in your skin connects with a string at the same time, so yes, I’d do this. and I could immediately hear the difference, no no it’s clear to you but a camellia the difference between this sort of tinny sound and that clear so, and they said now do that every day for 15 minutes until our next lesson. without leading the strings open without using your left hand like this, ok, I did play guitar for decades; I’m just doing this for 50 minutes, everybody. yeah, then the next lesson, he said try this piece that you played for me last week and see how it sounds. The piece was a spam ant and went like this. and it goes like this. I can immediately hear the difference from that one week of practicing that kind of dumb exercise of just like this. That started to connect me to the kata to the idea of developing a routine practicing something fundamental that you then build on and build on and build on. The turn away has been out for ten years. It sold about 800,000 copies. It’s in 26 languages, and people still are reading it, and they still seem to be getting something out of it. In some ways, I still believe in the message but think it was more advanced at the time and maybe still is more advanced than where most companies are. What I presented in the Toyota Way was a foundation of a philosophy based on long-term thinking, so having a long-term vision 20 years 30 years out and then developing processes that reveal problems so that people can then have the opportunity to develop themselves and be developed by coach by solving those problems one by one. and then there’s a problem-solving method that teddy uses, and the purpose is to develop people and improve the system. Most companies don’t have a long-term perspective. They were short-term perspectives. Most people struggle enough to learn the basic tools of lean, like how to set up a combined system, and the idea of going through a systematic problem-solving process that’s laid out here’s eight steps doesn’t seem to work very well. people skip over steps, and they, for example, jump from problems to solutions, so it still seems like there’s a gap, almost like the turn away is science fiction. It’s this idealized world of what you should be, and I do here; in fact, people say when I speak, there’s such a big gap between what you’re describing in the towed away and where we are, how do we get started. and I’m not sure that I’ve had good answers to that question. A former student of mine lives near me, and Mike was very excited when the book came out. He wanted to meet in the coffee shop, and he told me about it and gave me a copy of the book. Then he would contact me and ask me where I thought, and we would meet again in the coffee shop, and all that might want to talk about was kata kata-kata, and frankly, my first reaction was this is cool stuff, and it made some sense to me. but Mike’s a bit carried away, and it’s reframing the turn away in baby step terms and may be oversimplifying. Mike’s pretty persistent, and he kept setting slideshares and setting the excerpts from the book, and little by little, what he was telling me and showing me started to chip away at my resistance. I realized that if you think about learning any complex skill like the example I have been struggling to learn guitar, you have to break down the skill into tiny little elements. and then learn those elements, and I was showing people a whole complicated picture. For example, I drew Segovia to play the guitar, and they didn’t know what to do. and I started to see the kata as doing exactly what I was saying people should do. However, I didn’t have the methods. I didn’t have the structure; I hadn’t broken down the trade away into pieces that can be explicitly practiced. One idea that might talk about that started to hit home was the idea of a target condition. He used the example of leveling the schedule ray junker, which I like because it’s so powerful and important. With the original, it was the original foundation of the Toyota Production System. but on the other hand, companies sort of throw up their hands. They don’t know how to do it, how we level our schedule, and how we change what customer waters customers order in erratic patterns. We can’t make whatever we want so that it’s level and repeatable. I met with a kind of TPS master he had learned directly from Daiichi Ohno. He worked for three years in a factory in America, and I asked him what he was working on, and he said it was all very, very difficult. For three years, I’ve been working on hey joga. I’ve been trying to become a junker. and Mike talked about hate junk as a target condition, and that made much sense to me that the goal is to be more stable and more level, but you have to work through that goal, and you don’t know how to do it. and you don’t have to know how to do it when you start. We have to know that this is important for my business for a reason. For example, I can’t have standard work, and I can’t reliably make promises to my customers without it. and then you have to understand that there are many many obstacles in Mike’s words that prevent you from getting to this idealized picture of a leveled schedule and producing at a steady, stable pattern and then one by one, you work through those obstacles, and you get a little bit closer and a little bit closer. and that was what that TPS master was trying to tell me is he’s working in his plant and trying to teach all these Americans how to overcome those obstacles, how to reduce variation, how to get a little bit closer every day to the target, and the condition of a leveled schedule. now he has a vision he knows what should look like we’d like it to look like, and he knows how knows that in the current state, they’re nowhere near that vision, and it’s tough because it’s tough to get those people to do something every day that will get them a little bit closer to that vision. and the idea of the start condition is to give somebody a goal that’s easy to understand a few weeks out that they can work towards, so not working only towards this big abstract vision that they’re going to resist. When I first started this, I had learned the seven waists like everybody else. Toyota came from Oh no, so you can’t question what came from the Bible and even said all we’re trying to do is reduce the timeline eliminating waste. and again, as I talk more with Mike about this, I realized that that was never really the intent of Daiichi Ohno Trajan was always interested in a vision and working toward the vision. When we work with clients, for example, we worked with the Navy and the Air Force, they talked about a war on waste. and what they would do is they would run around in these organized facilities that repaired planes or repaired two ships, and they would start fixing things randomly. and it wasn’t adding up to anything. It wasn’t adding up to time reduction; it wasn’t adding up to cost reduction; it wasn’t a guy up to quality improvement. There were little winds scattered throughout these huge shipyards forever aircraft repair facilities, but nothing progressed very far. One of the guys frustrated in one of the Navy Yards said this feels a little bit like taking wads of cotton and dipping in the paint, throwing it to the side of a barn to paint the side of the barn. It will never get painted that way. So I then started to rethink that, and the idea that you have a clear vision and then you have a challenge, and then you have these short-term heart conditions that are pointing in a direction is the Toyota way. That’s really what the masters intended, and it wasn’t to clean up the mess that will always come back. It was actually to systematically move in with a very narrow focus in a specific direction because there’s a need, as a business need, as a human need. Why don’t you think the thing about Toyota is that nobody in the company will say I’m an expert on either the Toyota way or the Toyota Production System. Everybody will say they’re just learning. some people are more expert than others, and there are groups of people who learn to know her where they learn from someone who learned from TG. Oh no. They come in, and they revere, and they give great advice, and they’re super wise people. However, inside any part of Toyota, there are a few people who have the job of teaching or leading projects on the Toyota Production System. They’re always off to the side within Toyota. They have a structure that goes from executives to managers down to workgroups. They see improvement is happening within that existing structure. They see every manager’s job, whether you’re at the supervisor level or the vice president level, as first and foremost being developing people, being a teacher developing the people who report to you. and you have to learn how to do this until it has training that they developed as they went overseas and had to teach other people in other cultures explicitly. The training goes as follows: you learn the turn away principles, the problem-solving process, or the improvement of kata called Toyota business practices. It has a lot of the same elements as the improvement kata, and then you learn on the job development how to develop other people, which is like the coaching kata. and every manager is supposed to learn that, and it’s learned from the top down the vice president’s learned at first they teach it to the general managers by doing projects and observing them and coaching them and then Joan Rogers teaches the manager ISM eventually gets down to the supervisors and then how early team leaders. so the improvement should be happening within the hierarchy of leaders responsible for something it could be proactive about, and it could be sales, it could be manufacturing. They’re there every day, and they’re doing it every day so they can Liam proof too. and realizes that the outside expert comes in occasionally, so the best you can do if the outside expert is driving improvement is have occasional improvement and not continuous improvement. and the outside expert doesn’t understand the process all that well. When the outside expert does come, it’s an opportunity to fine-tune some of your thinking and some of your technique in the world of music. We might call that a masterclass where you’ll play before the master. and you’ve got 15 minutes, and you will learn a few things about your technique, and maybe that’ll inspire you for six months until you get another master class. but to continue learning, you have to have your ordinary teacher who’s right there with you, and your meeting every week was giving assignments that are checking how you’re doing and giving you feedback. Then you mostly learn by yourself practicing between those coaching sessions. so that can’t happen. I made a kind of joke in the turn-away field book saying that it could happen if we have lean experts. but what we have to do is hire one lean expert for every person working in the company. and imagine them standing behind the person and looking around all day, and then you get continuous coaching. Then I said, oh wait, we already have smart people or supposedly smart people called managers. What should they do? What if they were doing the coaching? When I go back to Toyota Kata, I realize that it gives you that methodology for breaking this very, very complex set of behaviors that we call improvement. and these challenging goals and challenges that the Toyota sensei ask you to achieve and allows you to break them down into small pieces. It gives you something to practice in that routine. We know routines feel good, so something can protect practice as a routine that feels good that will allow you to move the needle and start to see changes in your performance. a little bit at a time you reach art conditions you reach these milestones these winds that feel good every couple weeks which reinforces you. It does what we’re trying to do with lean again. I’m seeing that Toyota is saying that the workgroups were functioning pretty well with outstanding group leaders with outstanding team leaders. It took probably five years or so to develop those kinds of people. and the Toyota kata is a way to do it faster when you don’t have an environment where all your managers are thinking all the same way and already have a strong philosophy of the towed away. So the brain science teaches us that people can change and they will change, and they will learn, but they need to learn in bite-size pieces, and they could learn about one thing at a time, practice it over and over again till they get it right and then they’re ready to learn the next thing. any of us who’ve tried to learn an instrument who tried to teach our kids to throw a baseball who’s tried to teach or learn any complex skill know that that’s true. you know that you have to break down this complicated thing into pieces. You know, start by playing a boxed sonata. You start by learning how to strike the strings with your finger. The kata does that. It breaks it down into those elements so you can develop those habits one by one. Then it becomes comfortable and almost natural to improve and solve problems systematically. You have to think about that part; you know how to find the problem waste like with the root cause analysis method again. That’s just natural, that’s just background, and you can focus on solving the problem. I was actually in a kata workshop at GKN. They used powdered metal and made metal parts, and I was listening to a technician. He was an engineer. He was a technician. He had gotten the assignment to install a whole new production line with all new automated equipment and do it in half the time with twice the uptime with high-quality, something that never achieved in that plan. Now, normally if I were to give an assignment as a boss to someone and say, you do this, or else it will feel pain. but he was presenting, and he had used the kata to do it, and he was having a ball. He was very proud, and it sounded like the process wasn’t painful, was fun, and the reason was well. Then he showed this storyboard on the front of the board and then turned it around on the back. He had all his tart conditions. They’ve gone through all his two-week tart conditions. He had gone through about 25 of them. Some were a few days, or if you were a week. Each tart condition was achievable, and then he would go to the next start condition. Sometimes he failed, and sometimes he succeeded. However, he had come in on time with the quality they wanted with the uptime they wanted, and it was through all the exploration and all the little experiments he had run. and this guy was sold. He was good. He was a convert. This is now the way he’s going to work in the future when he’s doing an engineering project. It was just so uh he was just so excited and turned on, and it didn’t look like the person who’s cowed and feeling bad and embarrassed and couldn’t spend time with family look like, you know, a healthy happy person who had grown from the experience. so I don’t think lean needs to mean that you lose your family life and personal life and slaving away. I think it’s fun to learn. It’s fun to improve if you can succeed. you have to succeed all the time. You know failure as you have successes, but if they’re little failures and there are enough successes and all over all the trend is that you’re improving and you’re winning the game, it feels good to anybody to win. It feels good for anybody to accomplish something you thought was impossible, but now you’ve accomplished it. That’s as good a feeling as anything we can feel.