Lessons Learned from “The Toyota Way”

Date(s) – April 20, 2021
8:00 am – 5:00 pm

EDC of Elkhart County


The Toyota Way is a great book written by Jeff Liker about his experiences with Toyota.  The big ‘takeaway’ is what Liker calls the, “ 14 principles of Toyota”.

  1. Make decisions on your long-term philosophy, even at the expense of short-term goals.
  2. Create continuous flow to bring problems to the surface.
  3. Use pull systems to avoid overproduction.
  4. Level out the workload.
  5. Build a culture of stopping to fix problems; get quality right the first time.
  6. Standardized tasks and processes are the foundation of continuous improvement and employee empowerment.
  7. Use visual control so that no problems are hidden.
  8. Use only reliable, thoroughly tested technology that serves both people and process.
  9. Grow leaders who thoroughly understand the work, live the philosophy, and teach it to others.
  10. Develop exceptional people and teams who follow the company philosophy.
  11. Respect your extended network of partners and suppliers by challenging them and helping them to improve.
  12. Go and see for yourself to thoroughly understand the situation.
  13. Make decisions by consensus, thoroughly considering all options; implement decisions rapidly.
  14. Become a learning organization through relentless reflection and continuous improvement.


Join MEP instructor Brent White as he reviews the principles, discusses strengths/areas for improvement in creating an environment to grow a continuous improvement (CI) culture, identifies leadership’s role in this undertaking, talks about the next steps in growing a CI enterprise, and starts to create an action plan.

About Brent White:

Brent White is a senior process improvement professional that possesses extensive experience in driving continuous and breakthrough improvement utilizing the tools of Lean Six Sigma, and the power of people.

Brent is a certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt, as well as a Certified Lean Master Facilitator.  He has over 30 years of experience working with businesses as both an internal and external process improvement leader, mentor, and consultant.  He has helped organizations dramatically increase customer satisfaction, grow the bottom line, reduce process waste, and also empower an army of problem solvers in organizations.

Prior to coming to Purdue, Brent served as the Corporate Director of the Lean Enterprise for an Indiana-based manufacturer.  He also has worked in a joint venture within the Toyota family of companies.

Brent is currently serving as a Lean and Six Sigma consultant for Purdue’s MEP.  In this role, he is working with Indiana businesses through training, implementation, standardization, and sustainment of their business process improvements.

Brent is a native Hoosier, born and raised on the south side of Indianapolis.  Early in his career, he lived and worked in the Elkhart area as a teacher/coach at Jimtown.



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Lessons Learned from the Toyota Way 4.20.2021
Lessons Learned from the Toyota Way 4.20.2021