Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Teaching The Toyota Way - keep it easier !

Many people ask me "Do you make teaching it much easier" in your 'classes'?

NB.: Toyota Way refers to TPS, Lean, Hoshin-Kanri and more... as it is the world's leading way to manage and grow any enterprise whether large or small. Core people values (participate, learn, team, decide,..) are accentuated.

OKAY so my basic approach to teaching The Toyota Way is simplified like this: Firstly: breakdown the subject matter into bite-sized and must-be-delicious chunks and enjoy the practical stuff which this 'class' is all about.

I use the same 12 "Management" elements since the beginning of my blog posts; namely:
Q,C,D, .. S,M,P, .. T,E,F, .. G,I,R.

  • Q, C, D..... all enterprises' first 3 concerns are standard throughout the world: Quality, Cost and Delivery..... i.e. "on spec; on budget; on time".

  • S, M, P..... the 3 people elements: Safety, Morale (includes training) and Productivity teams and such.

  • T, E, F..... 3 'engineering-type' concerns such as: Technical (engineering, R&D,..), Environmental, and Finance concerns like debt level etc.

  • G, I, R ..... 3 customer-centric elements: 'Global' means your market concerns on a big picture view (global), Innovation and Relations with customers.
With each element I explain The Toyota Way: what, where, how it applies, how it is practical and benefical. Not by tongue wagging, no! I always use tools, tips, techniques, templates that the 'student' can take away and put to immediate use.

Not only is it enjoyable (fun !) learning all kinds of tools, tips, techniques, templates, lil' rules, systems, etc but it is also therapeutic knowing that you are expanding your mind with the grounded, honest principles of a Business Way that:
A......... supports people be they employees, customers, suppliers .. and,
B......... eliminates waste, shrinks bottlenecks, improves profits with everyone joining-in.

Thanks for asking, Mike :)

Photo Album.......
Video clips........

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cheat Sheet to Help You Choose a Consultant

Good morning!! ... I read in the Globe&Mail's Small Business Section Thursday that all companies- large or small, should have a "demonstration script" to give to their prospective consultant vendors.
A great idea!!

Here's my version: (I call it a 'Cheat Sheet')

To: All Management Consultancy Vendors:

In your presentation to our company, please demonstrate HOW your consultancy will achieve the following for our company should we contract you.


  1. HOW you will act as a teacher and as a coach.

  2. Your 'system' of Corporate Planning & Control et al.

  3. Visioning- visually so as to communicate our path with images.

  4. Which 'best practices' (list) you intend to impart to us.

  5. Road to TQM, .. Total Quality Management.

  6. HOW you will keep it simple.

  7. Your promotion of Continuous Innovation.

  8. Dr.Deming of PDCA fame.

  9. Your list of tools (eg ‘QC 7 Tools’) that will be taught.

  10. Visual Control.

  11. HOW you will have our people involved.

  12. How our people will achieve Continuous Learning.

  13. Values such as Reflection et al.

  14. Your expectation of what you will GIVE to us overall.

  15. Your full fees and costs explained.

Additionally from Mike: you can now find my practice on Facebook at

Facebook Web Site:

Mike Davis

More on Mike at Linked-In:

Friday, September 30, 2011

Small Business wants Management!

Good morning !! .. because last evening we learned hughely about Web 2.0 from Internet Guru Mr. Byron Biggs via a seminar. So I'm sitting down to write a timely BLOG, right now, about Small Business' interests in Management subjects.

Following 18 years in Top Management positions with Toyota manufacturing, I've devoted my latest 5 years to Small Businesses - - - to their Management issues/ systems/ approaches: from Strategic Planning to Goals, Actions, Follow-up and reflection .... all of that in an organized way which has a name: HOSHIN. Roughly translated, this Japanese Management system, Hoshin, means Steady Direction; through rough seas into calmer waters on the way to our destination. Hoshin has Dr. Deming's PDCA in its roots.

My observations about Small Businesses' Management: there are differences regarding their Management interest:

A. Businesses which have only one or two people deeply concerned about Management subjects are likely to enjoy one-on-one ad-hoc meetings rather than say weekly committee meetings.

B. Businesses which have 3, 4 or 5 people who are deeply concerned about Management subjects (such as 'Mission' et al; Goals; 'Process'; Structure and Organization; Roles and so on) enjoy larger meetings that last 2 hours or more and are regularly scheduled such as the Weekly Planning Meeting and the Monthly Review Meeting.

C. Both of these have a tendancy to Manage by the decided way that the CEO insists upon .. OR ALTERNATIVELY .. in some cases the CEO allows someone else, example the QA Manager or Finance Manager, to run the Management System.

D. My findings so far are that Small Businesses often change their Management Approach from year to year based on some new info they've learned and/or based on some requirement that a Large Customer may be imposing on them.. such as ISO-9000 or Lean Manufacturing(TPS) as 2 examples. So they change their style of managing, their management tools, meeting frequencies, etc.

E. I've also found that those Management Leaders in Small Businesse really and truly want to achieve Goals and to do so efficiently. They want it even though they have no time. Goals have been elusive in their Small Business. Achievement of Goals is lacking and leaders debate among themselves as to why. They know in their gut that a good, full-circle Management Approach must be part of what they all do.

What am I looking for?

I'm now seeking English-speaking Small Businesses in the Eastern Townships / Monteregie Regions of Quebec in order to study them and find the right HOSHIN solution for them that will overcome the issues which I've outlined above. The solution found would be given freely to the Business.

What can I offer?

Based upon my experience, and my life-long dedication to Management Solutions, I believe that I can produce results - - - in a friendship manner, like I've done with all my clients and friends over 40 years.

Please check it out and move your business "through calmer waters to your intended destination" with HOSHIN. Go ahead and click on

Thank you for reading today and I hope I've left you with a picture in your mind that there is a really great Management System out there, Hoshin, mastered by Toyota, and it could simply be yours too.

Mike Davis

More on Mike at Linked-In:

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Vision - - - visually !

Leaders often write Vision, Mission and Values statements and post them up on their employee notice boards, cafeteria walls, web sites and introductions to Strategic Planning.

Good stuff !

Now, this Toyota guru today is promoting that we create 3 visions (1- industry, 2- company, 3- myself) that shall be visually stimulating. I.e. images become communication.

1- Vision One - - the entire Industry in which we work.

Here are a couple of Industry Vision examples, just to illustrate the visualisation - imagery. A real case would have more content than these here.

Example - The Rescue industry = saving lives AND PLUS providing nourishment "as the injured lie on their cots", ...

Example - The Disaster Recovery industry = repairs on site AND PLUS we transform the old into a new more functional facility, ...

So, in Vision One, the highly visual image of transformation is expressed using imagery such as firetrucks arriving on the scene - - you can virtually ''see it''; see the vision.

Write this from a high level up, even higher than a helicopter view, in order to put you in the high place of seeing over the entire industry's purpose, methods and actions.

By doing this "visualizing" of the Industry Vision-One, we may actually be able to improve or transform our entire industry; ... especially if we are active industry-association board members.

2- Vision Two is the image of Our Company working in a distinctive way within our industry.

Here are a couple of Company Vision examples just to illustrate the visualisation - imagery. A real case would have more content than these here.

Example - in the Rescue industry = we deliver to the injured our "care kits" which include food, chocolate bars, hot towelettes, cell phones to call home, .... etc

Example - in the Fire recovery industry = our "complete build teams" rush over in big blue trucks to transform the old premises into a whole new and better living/working facility thusly helping our client transform his pain into a new stimulating beginning.

Plus, in Vision-Two, we also add that our company will become known via spots on the National News. We will transform our entire industry and become the leader with branches in every (city, state, province, ...) etc. Can you ''see'' it?

By doing this "visualizing" of the Company Vision-Two, we will actually transform our company into a more powerful and stimulating one.

3- Vision Three is the image of ourself (and/or a specific team) going forward in our career (long term vision).

Here are a few Self Vision examples just for visually illustrative purposes only. A real case would have more content than these.

Examples - - to become like a "Mike Holmes" of TV fame; ... to become a panelist on "The Dragon's Den"; ... and / or ... I'll write a blog or book like "xyz" ; ... I'll create a model company like Sam Walton did (i.e. Wal*Mart); ...

So in Vision Three we ''see'' a picture of ourself going forward to a desired place and being that described individual with those described energies, networks, activities, hobbies, family, etc etc etc.

4- Of course our visualized company needs to garner the very best of The Toyota Way. Such as I've described earlier in this A3-Hoshin-TPS-Leanblog and on my web site at

Thank you for reading today. I hope that I've managed to leave a picture in your mind of my 'visualizing the vision'.

Mike Davis

Friday, June 24, 2011

Toyota guru helps a large enterprise.

How does a Toyota guru (i.e. Toyota manufacturing top executive) help a large enterprise to achieve its NEW goals?

  1. First, a good dialogue over 2 days with the each of the enterprise's top 5 executives: on many subjects, a few of those subjects would include the 6 below:

  2. Historically what are the Plans and achievements so far to date? How well is "Management By Objectives" (MBO) practiced over here?

  3. What is the current level of understanding of (Dr.Deming's PDCA) Plan, Do, Check (and reflect), Act-Adjust? Reviews of progress are formal (written) or informal and at what frequency- weekly?, monthly?

  4. Are all the 12 Corporate Base Elements being covered? Please see my earlier blog posts for QCDSMPTEFGIR. Q= Quality, C = Cost, D=Delivery, S=Safety, and so on.

  5. How to describe "the culture of improvement" in this place(s).

  6. What are the ''dynamics'', or driving forces, that exist to get new goals accomplished? Are these within the "culture" or the character of the leader?

  7. What are the biggest roadblocks?

  8. Secondly, the guru shall a) define their "management system" and present culture, and b) find THE NEW necessary amendment to that "management system".

  9. This amendment takes the existing system and shoulders it with The Toyota Way (i.e. Lean Management Way).

  10. A healthy understanding of this change is next. The 5 top executives wring out this change amongst themselves with the help of the guru.

  11. Some questions amongst themselves will be "Are we prepared to make a change ourselves?" "How do we do this in bite-sized increments?" "Let's be sure we keep it simple!" "Which tools and techniques are we ready to deploy now?, and later?

  12. Thirdly, a more widespread basic training begins for the Top Management levels. This can produce more fine tuning to the management system amendments as the guru and the Top-5 listen to the other executives and work to get it right for the entire enterprise.

  13. Culture change will be evident and will need to be addressed as a major objective itself.

  14. Fourthly, Plan the management system change implementation. Keep it simple!

  15. Benefits: The Toyota Way management system gets objectives DONE.

  16. More on that at

Thanks for reading,

Mike Davis;

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Dr. Deming's PDCA

PDCA is a core principle of the Hoshin Planning & Control System, i.e The 'Toyota Way' or => The Toyota Management System (TMS).
PDCA is applied to each of the 12 organizational target areas (see previous blog)

P: ---- PLAN:
  1. WHO will lead and assist from cross-functional areas?
  2. WHAT bold objective are we continuing to chase?
  3. WHEN do we start and expect to finish each sub-action item?
  4. WHERE is the actual place of action? We go there now.
  5. WHY, it is because this objective is tied to major organizational 'Policy'. (tbd)
  6. HOW do we proceed, by WHICH sub-actions to move us along?
  7. HOW MANY is our actual measured performance result ( # ) & next target #?
  8. HOW MUCH resources can we apply to this bold objective?
  9. HOW OFTEN does our cross-functional team review its action & result?

D: ---- DO:

  1. DO the sub-action items and get the schedule DONE.

C: ---- CHECK:

  1. MEASURE the actual results achieved ( #'s ) AND measure each sub-action's progress.
  2. COMPARE to the Year-To-Date target # that was set in P: above.
  3. COMPARE currect progress to the sub-actions' schedule as was set in P: above.
  4. EVALUATE good (use circles O's) or bad (use X's)... for this past month?
  5. ANALYSE variation between actual results and target expectations. Use professional 'QC' tools for analysis.
  6. REFLECT deeply ( 5 why's ): did we miss something and so on. Reflect on our own behaviour without excuse. Reflect as a Team. This is the most meaningful differenec between the Toyota-Way and previous ideas of 'Management By Objectives' (MBO). REFLECTION produces 'The Learning Organization'.

A: ---- ADJUST:

  1. CORRECTIVE ACTION to get us back on track.
  2. VERIFY our corrective action frequently.
  3. TEAM-UP as often as possible to assure cross-functional participation.

So, keep this PDCA cycle going like a wheel. Continuous PDCA becomes our culture of continuous improvement and learning - - - - thusly profit will ensue.

Mike Davis, a Toyota exec.

Starting Hoshin

Starting Hoshin for any organization, we begin by a SWOT analysis of each of the 12 organizational target areas, or 'elements'.
Always keep it simple.
Use measurements.
Find out what others are doing by 'benchmarking'.

Best wishes from a 'Toyota' exec.,