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Innovating the Toyota Way

Andrew Willett, Senior Expert

“Targeted innovation requires a "single point of truth". A single source of information to guide people and to make it easy for them to find what's going on."

In this episode, we welcome Andrew Willett, Senior Expert at Toyota Motor Europe

Together with Andrew, we explore "The Toyota Way" - a set of principles and behaviors that underlie the Toyota Motor Corporation's managerial approach. We also take a digression into Toyota's digital innovation platform, which not only positively impacts the cost and environmental footprint of the innovation activities, but also serves as a valuable interface for the employees involved.

Curious for more? Then tune in!

The episode at a glance:

  • Getting to know Andrew
    • Who is Andrew? (00:01:05)
    • Andrew, please complete the 3 sentence starters… (00:02:18)
  • Innovating the Toyota Way
    • What is the Toyota way? (00:03:51)
    • What is Toyota's view and approach of innovation? (00:05:42)
    • How does Toyota blend new ways and impulses coming from outside with the traditional Toyota business practices? (00:06:55)
    • Talking about future research: While the Toyota way starts with identifying a gap, that gap might be not so evident when conducting future research in particular. How to bridge this? (00:10:29)
    • The “Either-Or” game (00:14:04)
    • One Digital Platform 
      • How did this opportunity emerge to put a new innovation system in place that brings together all the manufacturing centers? (00:18:00)
      • Why is it important to have a single point of truth (the platform)? (00:20:57)
      • What were the most important selection criteria for you? (00:22:06)
      • How did you facilitate and manage that change process? (00:23:20)
      • In what way does innovation software deliver tangible improvements and profitability, and what are your metrics of success?  (00:25:23)
      • How does Toyota manage the balancing act between involving employees in the company and maintaining an appropriate level of confidentiality of data and information? (00:30:34)
      • What’s the engagement plan of including employees in this change process?  (00:33:21)
  • Closing
    • Andrew’s 3 key actionable recommendations to take away from this episode (00:35:40)
    • A look ahead: Andrew’s next steps in the Toyota journey? (00:37:14)
    • Looking back. Andrew’s Innovation Rockstar moment (00:38:35)