New Business Management Book is an HR Executive’s How-to Manual for Inspiring People and Creating Cultures of Continuous Improvement Anywhere

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Author Kiyoshi Furuta, former human resource executive and CEO of Toyota Boshoku America, reveals his HR secrets in Welcome Problems, Find Success: Creating Toyota Cultures Around the World, according to the Lean Enterprise Institute, Inc., a leading lean management bookseller and publisher.

Welcome Problems book cover

An HR Executive’s How-to Manual for Creating Cultures of Continuous Improvement Anywhere

This book is for corporate management — senior executives, vice presidents, directors, plant managers, and for any function within a company, from accounting to R&D.

To many executives, finding and solving problems is for addressing problems such as defects, delays, inefficiencies, and injuries. That’s a key part of problem-solving, to be sure. But in his new book, “Welcome Problems, Find Success: Creating Toyota Cultures Around the World,” author and former human resource executive Kiyoshi Furuta proves that it’s also critical work for all senior managers, according to the nonprofit Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI).

The book is on sale now at LEI’s online bookstore.

Furuta shares the inside story of his direct experience establishing problem-solving cultures at operations outside Japan during a period of rapid globalization from the early 1980s to recent days. The key to creating – and sustaining – Toyota’s vaunted “lean” business system was for executives to develop people at every level to relentlessly surface and solve problems.

“This book is for corporate management — senior executives, vice presidents, directors, plant managers, and for any function within a company, from accounting to R&D,” writes Furuta, a former Toyota HR executive and CEO of Toyota Boshoku America Inc., a premier manufacturer of automotive interior systems. “Because your problems are likely large and complex, you need to connect the specific problems you find with the underlying causes of problems throughout your organization. To do that, you need to inspire everyone in your organization to find problems.”

Furuta reveals how he did just that at New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., Toyota’s joint venture in California with General Motors, where he was the first Toyota employee on the ground and directly led the establishment of the most revolutionary labor-management agreement in the history of the U.S. auto industry.

#Kaizen Turnaround Strategy
Furuta also was the first Toyota employee on the ground in Georgetown, Kentucky, at Toyota’s first full-scale, wholly owned manufacturing operation outside Japan. Plus, he reveals how as executive vice president of Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing Europe, he created a problem-solving culture to turn around money-losing operations in the UK, France, Turkey, Poland, and Belgium.

Furuta introduces readers to the thinking of notable leaders in Toyota's history, such as Taiichi Ohno, the chief architect of the Toyota Production System, Fujio Cho, founding president of the Georgetown plant, and Kenzo Tamai, the head of the company’s human resource function in the 1980s.

About the Book

  • "Welcome Problems, Find Success: Creating Toyota Cultures Around the World” (paperback)
  • Author: Kiyoshi “Nate” Furuta
  • Publishers: Lean Global Network and Productivity Press
  • ISBN-13: 9781032065922
  • ISBN-10: 1032065923
  • Publication Date: Sept. 3, 2021
  • Pages: 190
  • List Price: $39.95
  • Web page: https://www.lean.org/Bookstore/ProductDetails.cfm?SelectedProductId=446

About the Lean Enterprise Institute
Lean Enterprise Institute Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Boston, MA, with a mission to make things better through lean thinking and practice by helping companies create more value and prosperity while consuming the fewest possible resources. Founded in 1997 by management expert James Womack, PhD, LEI conducts research through co-learning partnerships with companies, teaches on-site and online workshops, publishes books and ebooks, organizes conferences, and shares practical information about lean thinking and practice at http://www.lean.org.

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Chet Marchwinski
@leanthinking
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