Why do I keep going to Japan to run Lean trainings? For two simple reasons:
- It is said that there are only five people left in Toyota who fully understand the capability of the entire production system and can explain it. One of these gentlemen is one of our senseis and two of his adepts are part of our sensei team. It is a pleasure to hear how they meet our participants with openness and clarity every time. Everyone’s laughter when sensei responds to our millions of questions, the motivation and inspiration that comes with new knowledge and plenty of aha-experiences. To be a part of perhaps the best week in someone’s professional life. It is for real.
- There are thousands of books and articles about Lean. Many of these are good and provide a nuanced image, but I would easily say that nothing strikes the feeling of hearing and seeing these Japanese leaders who have worked in the system throughout their lives explain and tell me what and how it’s done! Or what they did not do or failed to. They can’t fake it because they bring us to the factories and show what we’re asking for, they train us in the same facility that Toyota themselves uses, they answer all our questions without a doubt. And that feeling, no books nor articles can convey in the same way. It is for real.
They truly do what they say. It is for real. This is the driving force for me to continue working and organizing Lean trainings in Japan for fourteen consecutive years and over 50 trips.