From principle #9 to principle #11, Toyota Way focus its efforts in creating value through the assessment and development of its associates as they are the most important assets of it.
What we usually call company is an ethereal entity which does not have any relevance without the existence of their employees. What makes the name and image of a company are the human beings that form part of it, which are constantly fighting to achieve goals, to satisfy customers, to develop new products, to add value… That is why Toyota and many other companies strive to acquire excellent and spectacular teams who work together towards the same objective, satisfying customers, that consequently lead to making money.
Toyota bets to follow these principles in terms of employees’ development:
- Respect for people.
- Constant challenging to their employees by new projects, transversal or vertical promotions, etc.
- Respect the intelligence and capabilities of their employees.
- Mutual respect and trust between everybody.
This principle, which from my point of view is a must for every company from any sector or activity, works towards developing an excellent individual work together with having an efficient team playing.
As for the Principle #10, it states the following:
“Develop exceptional people and teams who follow your company’s philosophy.”
These teams, ideally, should consist of 5 people and numerous management tiers and the most important, success is based on the team and not on the individual.
All the management systems implemented within Toyota are tools to support the team playing and delivering added value, but teams are not those who create the value but people, otherwise. Teams coordinate, motivate and learn through each other. There is also a healthy social pressure which makes all members of the team suggest innovative ideas.
Toyota has stablished a great balance between individual work and team work and between individual excellence and team effectiveness. How does Toyota achieve it? it may seem very simple, but it is not; by searching, selecting and training the future excellent leaders and giving them autonomy in order to create a sense of trust which lead to better creativity and behaviour. They select using a competency-based politics as they think this is the best way to reduce the gap between the position needs and what the market offers.
Just as an example, Toyota Production System (TPS) was originally known as the “respect for the human system”. The more you read about Toyota, the more you realise that Toyota is not about individual profit but about demanding and respecting people, both at the same time.
A philosophy that is taught by leaders that believe in it and followed by people and teams has a stronger chance for success than a set of people and teams pulling in different directions than their leader.