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As informed by the author Rother, (2009) the term “kata “in Japanese refers to a set of patterns and routines. An organization’s daily habits for continuous learning and tailoring itself according to that defines the concept of Toyota Kata. This particular set of routines help the organizations to move towards its vision and achieve a state of awesomeness. In the book TOYOTA KATA, the author describes the two main katas to structure a better organizational culture. The first is improvement kata and the second is coaching kata (Rother, 2009). This kata focuses on in-depth learning of manage organizational processes, establishing the understanding of how organizations should work and how they can work. On the other had coaching kata supports the improvement kata by highlighting the importance and need for learning (Rother, 2009). It also suggests that the leaders of an organization should act like a teacher and coach its people regarding organizational culture and behavior.
The Toyota company focuses on the implementation of lean manufacturing or Toyota Production System (TPS) (Rother, 2009). However, the concept and the tools are not new, the implementation is new every day. In the Toyota company it is ensured that everyone from the floor workers to the higher executives, all are using the best of their innovative power and experiments. When the assembly lines, only the best workers among all are chosen to grow on their career by constantly solving problem. (Rother, 2009) The entire operation starting with engineering, sales, accounting, service and HR practices are staffed and accomplished by selected individuals who are also provided special guidance from the company regarding how to increase their level of customer satisfaction. The company invests money and efforts on the people management thereby becoming a true example for a learning organization. They focus on the team building and team management by providing necessary trainings which enables their employees to exceed the level of ordinariness like other automobile companies focusing merely on making vehicles. They mold themselves according to the buzzing trend in the market and the process of change and adoption starts from the top level.
Therefore, Toyota company in this respect can be regarded as an ideal organization reflecting and everyday regenerating those unique set of routines or practices that leads the company towards a brighter tomorrow (japantimes.co,2018). The company is improving every day – effectively, effectively, within the budge and accurately on time. Their management approach is responsible for this improvement which focus on improving day to day. Toyota’s management process proves that by only following the organizational principles and practices do not yield the best outcome. The organizational outcomes emerge from the routines of thinking and behavior of its people and Toyota undoubtedly and efficiently manages people.
The production system of the Toyota company highlights how the company at the same time behaves rigidly and flexibly (Rother, 2009). On the one hand the connection, activity and production flow in the company is rigidly scripted. On the other hand, the operations of the company are extremely flexible to the demands of the customers. It has been found after much research that the key to their flexibility is the rigidity in the operations. They have certain rules of their own and following those set of rules or ‘katas’ they are able to stick to their standard and fulfill the demands of the customers (Rother, 2009). The flexibility is possible because the Toyota company engrains stimulus of experimentation in their workers instead of imposing on them. Their scientific experiments are gladly accepted by the employees and they try their best to accomplish them properly. (Bolman & Deal,2017) The company first adopting the improvement kata finalizes what changes are to be in the products or services and then adopting the coaching kata teaches the employees through whom the change or improvement will be made. The continuous communication with the employees and interaction among them makes the seemingly rigid system the most supportive system to flexibility.
Although rigidity and flexibility are literally two contradictory concepts, they can be managed in a way that they start complementing and supporting each other. Crude flexibility is what should be avoided in an organization because it impacts the decision making difficult. On the other hand, being too lenient and flexible disturbs the balance in the organization (Armsworth et al.2015). However, both should be avoided if crossed the limits. The way Toyota company manages the two results in positive outcomes. Therefore, both should be present in the operations but in a moderate form.
Regarding adaptive nature, the organizations can adapt change by an unconventional approach to sustain high performance. ‘Implementation’ should not be taken as just a word. The organizations must implement certain kata to become adaptive to improvement changes (Jundt, Shoss & Huang, 2015). The skill, action and behavior of the people of the organization define how much adaptive the organization would be in action. The utilization of the capabilities of an organization is the best way to become adaptive. The reaction, problem solving technique and individual way to improve and stable processes of the employees provides an organization the competitive advantage (McKellar, 2015). Since the employees are the strength of an organization, they collectively make the small steps to methodically and systematically bring change.
The Toyota company faced huge setbacks after the Tsunami of march 2011, in Japan. The company faced difficulty in the supply of vehicle body parts and substitute materials. It took almost five years to compensate and strengthen the loss Toyota company went through(japantimes.co,2018). However, the company showed much potential in improving the condition and adapt the change. They stopped for a moment, assessed and then proceeded. The new supply chain management system supported them a lot(japantimes.co,2018). The amount of loss would have been worse for the company, but their prior crisis containment measures saved them. After the disaster, the Toyota company surveyed the suppliers in the year 2013 and employs a new kind of database now popular as ‘RESCUE’. This database stores the information of millions of supplier sites(japantimes.co,2018). The company has learnt from the previous disaster a lot and still developing advanced management techniques to sustain in such situations
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