The world lost one of its brightest business leaders this week, Eiji Toyoda. Fortunately, he left behind a legacy of leadership philosophies and practices that will continue to inspire and challenge all who study what this man was truly made of.
If you don’t know much about Eiji, you should. His views about the distinct roles played by front-line workers and managers and his unbridled respect for people form the core of Lean. This is the REAL Lean that is practiced by few and misunderstood by many.
In an era where countless organizations attempt Lean for all the wrong reasons and ill-informed improvement professionals spread wildly incorrect information about Lean, may we use this time of reflection to take a collective deep breath and recommit to practicing Lean as it was always intended: Achieving superior business performance through people—in a very specific way.
Here are two superior tributes to Mr. Toyoda that I encourage you to read completely:
With deep gratitude to Eiji Toyoda. You are missed.