Lots of little ideas add up

From the 1st page of the manifesto article entitled Breakthrough Solutions: Breakthrough Thinking the Toyota Way at ChangeThis:


That’s how many ideas Toyota implements each year. Do the math: 3000 ideas a day. That number, more than anything else, explains why Toyota appears to be in a league all their own, playing offense on a field of innovation, while their competitors remain caught in a crossfire of cost-cutting.

That’s simply amazing to me. It continues to say on the first page:

Here’s the thing: it’s not about the cars. It’s about ideas. And the people with those ideas. But not just any ideas. Mostly tiny ones, but effective ones nonetheless – elegant solutions to real world problems. Not grand slam homeruns, but groundball singles implemented all across the company by associates that view their role not to be simply doing the work, but taking it to the next level… every day, in some little way. Good enough never is. When an entire organization thinks like that, it become unstoppable.

I think a few key points can be made from these two paragraphs. First, I don’t want to get too caught up on the actual number of ideas they implement, because the importance is in what that number implies. ONE MILLION means that everybody from the organization is contributing.  There’s no way that many ideas come only form the top executives. I believe Toyota has created an environment where everybody feels empowered to contribute ideas. This is powerful indeed. Knowing that one can make a difference will often lead to the contribution and realizatoin of ideas – however small they might be.

Second, it’s about all about the details. The sucess of Toyota is built upon the implementation of numerous tiny ideas.

You can’t get to big without being small.


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