Adapted from:  The Toyota Way, Jeffrey Liker


Toyota Culture and Management Philosophy

The Toyota Way is not the Toyota Production System (TPS) . The 14 Principles of the Toyota Way is a management philosophy used by the Toyota corporation that includes TPS, also known as lean manufacturing. TPS is the most systematic and highly developed example of what the principles of the Toyota Way can accomplish. The Toyota Way consists of the foundational principles of the Toyota culture, which allows the TPS to function so effectively.

The Main Ideas of the Toyota Way

  • To base management decisions on a "philosophical sense of purpose"

  • To think long term

  • To have a process for solving problems

  • To add value to the organization by developing its people

  • To recognize that continuously solving root problems drives organizational learning.


The 4 Sections and the 14 principles of the Toyota Way

I. Having a long-term philosophy that drives a long-term approach to building a learning organization

  1. Base your management decisions on a long-term philosophy, even at the expense of short-term financial goals

II. The right process will produce the right results

  1. Create a continuous process flow to bring problems to the surface

  2. Use "pull" systems to avoid overproduction

  3. Level out the workload (heijunka). (Work like the tortoise, not the hare)

  4. Build a culture of stopping to fix problems, to get quality right the first time

Areas Targeted by TQM in Japan

  1. Standardized tasks and processes are the foundation for continuous improvement and employee empowerment

  2. Use visual control so no problems are hidden

  3. Use only reliable, thoroughly tested technology that serves your people and processes

Continuous Improvement Culture: 8 Key Elements


III. Add value to the organization by developing its people and partners

  1. Grow leaders who thoroughly understand the work, live the philosophy, and teach it to others

  2. Develop exceptional people and teams who follow your company's philosophy

  3. Respect your extended network of partners and suppliers by challenging them and helping them improve

IV. Continuously solving root problems to drive organizational learning

  1. Go and see for yourself to thoroughly understand the situation (Genchi Genbutsu).

  2. Make decisions slowly by consensus, thoroughly considering all options; implement decisions rapidly (Nemawashi).

  3. Become a learning organization through relentless reflection (hansei) and continuous improvement (Kaizen).


  Buy the book  The Toyota Way by Jeffrey Liker


 Discover more!

Lean Production

5 Elements of Enabling a Lean Approach

10 Commandments of Improvement

Kaizen vs Kaikaku and 10 Kaikaku Commandments

Just-in-Time (JIT)

Kaizen    Free Micro-course

Kaizen Mindset

Quick and Easy Kaizen

Kaizen and TQM

Continuous Improvement Firm (CIF)

Japanese-style Suggestion System

Deming's 14 Point Plan for Total Quality Management


Case Studies

Toyota Production System (TPS)

13 Tips

7 Principles of Toyota Production System (TPS)

Canon Production System (CPS)

9 Waste Categories and 6 Guidelines

Five Ss at Canon

Gold Seal Engineering Ltd. (India)

Rojee Tasha Stamping Ltd. (India)

Three Small- and Medium-sized Firms (USA)

  Ten3 Mini-Courses

Synergizing Business Processes (60 slides)

Synergizing Value Chain (200 slides)