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The latest trend in management styles: Toyota Kata

PRMA hosting seminar on 'managing by means'
ocal business people will have a chance to tap
into Toyota Kata, the latest trend in manage-
ment styles, during an all-day seminar the Puer-
to Rico Manufacturers Association is offering
May 1 at the trade group's head-
quarters at Guaynabo's Interna-
tional Marketing Center.
Merck, Shell and BMW are among
the companies using this "routine
for continuous improvement" since
Mike Rother developed this man-
agement system in 2009. Rother
developed Toyota Kata, or prac-
tice, based on his in-depth study of
Toyota's corporate culture and what
enabled Toyota to react quickly and
competitively in an ever-changing
During the past four years, Toyota
Kata has taken root in Africa, Swe-
den, Iceland, Cambodia, the United Kingdom, Chi-
na, Singapore and the U.S., among other places.
Trevor Hopster, Toyota Kata master coach and
consultant for W-3 Group, and Yolanda LaSalle,
founder of LaSalle Group, will lead the train-
ing session in Toyota Kata techniques, which
costs $795 per person and is the first time this
information has been made available to the public
in Puerto Rico.
"Clients are learning things that will help them
once we get out of their site," said LaSalle, who
founded her management consulting company
in 2009 after 25 years in the pharmaceutical in-
dustry. "This will leave a legacy of people who
will be able to take Puerto Rico to the
next level."
While often used in manufacturing,
Toyota Kata can be applied to any job
or company, LaSalle said.
Instead of traditional results-based
management, Toyota Kata focuses on
the means that will lead to results, and
then, once that result is achieved, striv-
ing toward the company's next goal
(target condition), et al. This allows
companies to attain seemingly impos-
sible goals by focusing on the how of
each small, incremental improvement
on a continuous basis.
"The problem with results-based
management is that once you reach the result,
you tend to sit back and rest on your laurels. The
problem is that nothing stays the same. It's either
getting better or getting worse," explained Jeff
Cain, partner of W-3 Group.
Toyota Kata also differs from traditional man-
agement in that managers don't just give workers
a goal to reach, but rather ask and review how
each employee is contributing to the company's
overall immediate goal, such as making 100 more
vials of antibiotic per shift without hiring new
This is referred to as coaching kata. Coaching
kata questions that can be emphasized or repeated
for a routine of continued improvement are:
1. What is the challenge?
2. What is your target condition?
3. What is the actual condition now?
4. What do you think the obstacles are that
prevent you from achieving your target
5. Which "one" obstacle are you addressing
6. What step did you take to address this
7. When can we see what you have leamed
from that step?
This continued application of simple methods
has led to tremendous results at companies. For
example, after six months applying Toyota Kata
at Merck's manufacturing plant in Elkton, Md.,
the plant reduced downtime on each production
shift from 2 hours and 42 minutes to 1 minute
40 seconds; reduced assembly-line alarms from
1 in 1,000 vials to one in 50,000 vials; and in-
creased output from 75,000 vials to 95,000 vials
per shift.
85 Broads: Connecting^ inspiring women in Puerto Rico
Networking organization of professional women works for global economic empowerment
hectorm @ caribbeanbusiness.pr
t has about 32,000 members from a large diver-
sity of industries in more than 130 countries.
The women who are its members are making a
global network of professionals who are inclined
toward excellence and fight for a better world. In
November, a chapter of the organization opened
in Puerto Rico.
"In January, a chapter started in Mexico, and
next month one will open in Abu Dhabi [United
Arab Emirates]," said Karys Rodrguez, a financial
analyst at Banco Popular and co-president of the
local chapter. The other co-president is industrial
engineer Bonnie Bandas, vice president of Popu-
lar's Corporate Group, Both of them brought 85
Broads to Puerto Rico, which is perhaps the most
important networking organization for profes-
sional women in the world, and its mission is to
achieve economic empowerment globally,
Rodriguez heard about 85 Broads when she was
a student of economics and political sciences at
University of Chicago. "My mentor there worked
at Goldman Sachs [(GS) which was involved with
the creation of the organization] and was part of
its board in Chicago, When I was working there,
I joined the organization," she said.
The name "85 Broads" was generally linked with
GS, with the number "85" and "Broads" derived
from the financial firm's address at 85 Broad St.
in New York. The organization, a precursor of
social networks, was created in 1997 by Jane Han-
son, a top executive in GS, who after giving birth,
felt distant from the business world she knew and
lovedso much so that she felt "disjointed" by it,
promising to "start a network that would prevent
this from ever happening again, to me or any other
The organization was started at GS and included
retired and veteran women, who originally used
the group to reach younger women for mentor-
ships, a key aspect that is still part of the organiza-
tion's raison d'tre.
"After that, 85 Broads spread across different
companies and industriesnot only in the finan-
cial sector. Now we have students, midlevel career
women, and C-level and entrepreneurial women,"
stated Rodriguez, who after returning to Puerto
Rico searched for a similar effort, but found almost
"I looked for a group like that at [Banco] Popu-
lar, or for a cross-industry group, and there were
some groups, but all within their line of business.
From that moment [between Rodriguez and Ban-
das], the idea was bom to bring this cross-industry,
cross-generational and global organization of more
than 30,000 women to Puerto Rico. Among its
mission are the objectives of educating women
and providing them with the skills they need to
succeed in the workplace. Another objective is to
educate women, on a broader public scale, about
gender-related issues inside and outside business,"
Rodriguez explained.
Aside from the co-presidents, 10 addition-
al women comprise the organization's board.
They are Giselle Bonet, Betina Castellvi, Mara
Gonzlez, Maria Elena de la Cmz, Anne Marie
McCurdy, Elba Luis Lugo, Sheila Gmez, Mariel
Lama, Shirley Sanabria, Rosa Hemndez, Maria
Awilda Quintana, Doreen Castaer and Wesley

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