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Toyota Kata

Kata - The heart of the coaching process at Toyota

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Toyota Kata

  1. 1. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 1 Toyota Kata Mobilizing our ingenuity through good management Mike Rother, February 2010 The practice of kata is the act of practicing a pattern so it becomes second nature. In its day-to-day management Toyota teaches a way of working -- a kata -- that has helped make it so successful over the last six decades. Toyotaʼs Improvement Kata is something we overlook in benchmarking and should learn more about in order to understand Toyotaʼs story. Copyright © 2010 Mike Rother, all rights reserved 1217 Baldwin Avenue / Ann Arbor, MI 48104 USA / tel: (734) 665-5411 / mrother@umich.edu
  2. 2. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 2 An organizationʼs processes, practices and results are an outcome of peopleʼs thinking and behavior. If processes are an outcome, then itʼs important to ask, How do we influence our behavior in order to accomplish continuous improvement, adaptiveness, and innovation? Toyotaʼs answer is through kata. Kata are practice routines, like dance steps, that develop particular skills and ways of thinking.
  3. 3. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 3 THE TOYOTA KATA DEFINITION OF MANAGEMENT The systematic pursuit of desired conditions by utilizing human capabilities in a concerted way We want to be here We are here Current condition Desired condition Target condition Challenge
  4. 4. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 4 A MANAGEMENT TASK The task is not to introduce new techniques, principles, ethics or solutions, but to establish a culture of continuous improvement, adaptation and innovation by practicing a method or behavior pattern that develops improvement skills and habits. This is very much like training in sports.
  5. 5. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 5 But leading people to implementing solutions doesnʼt make an organization adaptive and continuously improving. Hereʼs why: • It caters to and strengthens our aversion to uncertainty, rather then developing exploratory mindset and skills • Todayʼs solutions arenʼt the ones that will meet tomorrow's challenges It's not solutions themselves that provide sustained competitive advantage. Itʼs the ability of the organizationʼs members to develop solutions. HOW HAVE WE BEEN MANAGING? Leaders and managers have tended to focus on outcomes and solutions A solution at Toyota... ...copied at a U.S. company
  6. 6. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 6 (1) Where we are (2) Where we want to be (3) By what means we should navigate the unclear territory between here and there. We want to be here We are here Unclear Territory This is a grey zone! Obstacles DEVELOPING SOLUTIONS There are only 3 things we can and need to know with certainty We donʼt know in advance what all the steps will be
  7. 7. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 7 HOW DO YOU IMPROVE, ADAPT & INNOVATE? • How will you make your kanban system work? • How will you achieve 1x1 flow? • How will you achieve shorter value-stream lead time? • How will you achieve your objective? The way forward is iterative & experimenting, aimed at a desired condition that we donʼt yet know how we will achieve. Uncertainty / Learning Zone Next Target Condition Current Knowledge Threshold We want to be here next Obstacles Unclear Territory ? ? ?
  8. 8. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 8 BUT THERE IS A DILEMMA (A) Our brain favors existing neural pathways (comfort area) The way our brain works we seek certainty and try to avoid judgement and criticism. We prefer to operate inside our current knowledge threshold. (B) Meeting challenges - improving and adapting - means developing new neural pathways (learning area) Itʼs impossible to remove uncertainty from the process of improvement, adaptation and creation. The way forward lies outside our current knowledge threshold. Comfort area Apparent Certainty Mystery Uncertainty Learning area
  9. 9. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 9 The trick is to develop well-worn mental circuits not for solutions, but for a means by which we deal with dynamic, uncertain conditions. Like training in sports: To prepare for contests with unpredictable paths, the focus of the training is not solutions, but practicing how to play. A SOLUTION TO THIS DILEMMA People can handle uncertainty, work iteratively, adapt and meet challenges... ...if they have practiced and learned a way of doing that. This concept is the basis of the book Toyota Kata
  10. 10. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 10 The Toyota Kata Message: WE CAN MEET THE CHALLENGES FACING US If we practice and learn an effective way of navigating the learning zone
  11. 11. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 11 Establish the Next Target Condition Target Condition PDCA Toward the Target Condition The 5 Questions Go and See PLAN CHECK DO ACT C C T C Grasp the Current Condition Understand the Direction What challenge are we striving to meet? The step-by-step discovery process between where we are and where we want to be next. What pattern do we want to have next? What is the current pattern of working? 321 4 THE PATTERN THAT TOYOTA PRACTICES: - THE IMPROVEMENT KATA - The Improvement Kata is a four-part routine. Itʼs a systematic and scientific way for people to successfully navigate through unknown territory together. Itʼs the backbone practice in a Lean organization.
  12. 12. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 12 Fractal depiction by Mr. Emiel van Est THE IMPROVEMENT KATA IS FRACTAL Because the Improvement Kata is content neutral it can be practiced throughout an organization Itʼs a decentralized yet aligned process of improvement, adaptation and innovation
  13. 13. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 13 AND THEREʼS A COACHING KATA FOR TEACHING THE IMPROVEMENT KATA The Coaching Kata is a set of coaching routines to practice in order to develop effective coaching habits.  It's a coaching pattern to help you teach the Improvement Kata thinking pattern. The Coaching Kata gives managers and supervisors a standardized approach to facilitate Improvement Kata skill development in daily work. The coach needs to know both the Improvement Kata and the Coaching Kata!
  14. 14. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 14 HOW DO YOU CHANGE MINDSET AND ORGANIZATION CULTURE? From one of implementing pre-defined solutions, to one of actively developing new solutions Psychology and brain research are clear: Humans have the ability to alter their mindset. Our brain is equipped for learning new rules, patterns and habits.
  15. 15. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 15 Dendrites (receiver) Cell Body Axon (sender) The human brain is estimated to contain 100 billion neurons. Neurons form circuits within the brain, which underlie perception and thought. For communication between two neurons to take place, an electrical impulse travels down an axon to a synapse, or gap, where transmission occurs. Both the strength of connection between neurons (ease of information transmission) and the number of connections increase with use. Whatever you focus on and practice - with associated emotions - weaves a habit or pattern into your thinking. (Emotion helps determine what to imprint.) MINDSET = NEURAL PATHWAYS OR CIRCUITS Itʼs physiological “Every time you do something, you are more likely to do it again.” ~ Alvaro Pascual-Leone
  16. 16. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 16 TO CHANGE MINDSET AND DEVELOP NEW SKILLS FOCUS ON THESE ELEMENTS PRACTICE Repetition COACHING Corrective feedback KATA Structured routine to practice MASTERY Overcoming obstacles To develop new habits through practice, a Learner will have to experience success. It will be the responsibility of the Coach to give the Learner procedural guidance that makes the Learner successful in overcoming obstacles on the way to their target condition.
  17. 17. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 17 THIS LEADS TO A NEW CONSIDERATION FOR LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT In order to practice you need to know what to practice To change mindset and culture through deliberate practice, the organizationʼs leaders should specify the pattern that is to be practiced and coached. The organizationʼs managers should learn the pattern and how to coach it. Thatʼs exactly what Toyota does... Toyotaʼs managers teach a common means for developing solutions: The Improvement Kata. Solution How to develop solution Our Management System Given / Directed Toyotaʼs Management System Specified Guided & directed Left open Left open
  18. 18. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 18 MAKE THE PRACTICING PART OF NORMAL DAILY WORK, NOT A SPECIAL EVENT If we only periodically conduct training events or only episodically work on improvement -- and the rest of the time itʼs business as usual -- then according to neuroscience what weʼre actually teaching is business as usual. If we want a Lean revolution, then we need to shift emphasis from staff-led, episodic improvement efforts, to daily efforts led by middle managers. A slice of each day should be focused on iterating toward the next target condition by applying & coaching the Improvement Kata. Supervisor Area Manager Daily
  19. 19. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 19 ONE CONCLUSION IS BECOMING CLEAR Weʼre not going to be successful by copying Toyotaʼs solutions We should be copying how Toyota develops solutions. (Which is a universal, not Toyota-specific, science- based approach.) The Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata are practice routines for teaching and transferring that approach. Once you develop proficiency with the Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata you can evolve them into kata that suit your organization.
  20. 20. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 20 Next Target ConditionTarget Condition Current Condition Illustration by Dr. Lutz Engel The more people in an organization who get to higher skill levels with the Improvement Kata pattern: • The more challenges the organization can take on • The bigger the challenges it can take on • The more knowledge it can build • The faster it can move ahead INCREASING YOUR ORGANIZATIONʼS CAPABILITY Practicing the Improvement Kata = expanding peopleʼs comfort zone Apparent Certainty Mystery Uncertainty Comfort area
  21. 21. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 21 We confused the visible content of what we benchmarked at Toyota with the less visible method Toyota uses to pursue objectives. We called what we observed Lean, which suggests always minimizing or maximizing. This idea easily fits into our existing thinking in business, making it harder for us to see the different management approach Toyota is taking. As I see it now, Toyotaʼs extraordinary successes came from Lean practices combined with Toyotaʼs way of working toward any challenging objective.  Toyotaʼs improvement kata is about solving problems and adapting as you strive to move from where you are to where you want to be next.  That can involve minimizing, optimizing, or whatever you wish to achieve. WE MISUNDERSTOOD THE SOURCE OF TOYOTAʼS SUCCESSES • Solve a problem • Lean practices • Develop a product • Market a product / service • etc. This is content and situation specific How we go about it The Improvement Kata This is content free and universal What we work on The pivotal change proposed by study of Toyota is not in what an organization does, but in how the organization does it
  22. 22. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 22 WHAT IS MANAGEMENTʼS TASK? Traditional Management Toyota Kata Management • Establish targets • Describe solutions • Provide incentives • Get out of the way and periodically check results • Establish targets • Develop, via practice with coaching, the capability in people to develop new solutions... ...by having people practice a common way of working, like the Improvement Kata Focus on solutions Focus on how solutions are developed
  23. 23. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 23 MANAGERS ARE TEACHERS, AND THEIR ACTIONS DETERMINE COMPANY CAPABILITY Whether consciously or not, with their everyday words and actions all managers are teaching their people a mindset and approach. So it makes sense to ask: “What patterns of behavior and thought do we want to be teaching in our organization?”
  24. 24. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 24 How do we make a transition from our prevailing management approach, to systems thinking? We change by practicing a different behavior. That, over time, leads us to think about things differently. What pattern of acting and thinking -- what teachable, transferrable routine -- can we practice? With the Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata we have routines that can be applied and practiced in any setting, in order to develop capability and behavior consistent with systems thinking. résumé
  25. 25. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 25 The Toyota Kata Website FURTHER RESOURCES Click each item or scan the code for a link to that resource Essential Books
  26. 26. © Mike Rother TOYOTA KATA 26 Toyota Kata on Improvement Kata Handbook (Download free on the Toyota Kata Website) TK Course at UM