Toyota is the largest car manufacturer in the world. It outperforms its competitors in terms of quality, profitability, efficiency, growth and environmental aspects. For decades, scholars around the world have tried to unlock the secret of Toyota’s success by describing its production system. A range of management concepts, such as Total Quality Management, Kaizen, Operational Excellence, World Class Manufacturing, Lean Production and the Toyota Way, have been developed with the aim of extracting and packaging Toyota’s manufacturing know-how.
Service-oriented concepts have also been launched, including lean service, lean healthcare, lean banking, lean accounting, lean management, lean administration, lean start-ups and lean retail. The common denominator among all these concepts is the combination of process efficiency and customer focus.
Toyota has always stated that the secret of its success is its culture: “We do not produce cars, we produce people”. Toyota argues that its “evolutionary learning capability” is at the heart of its philosophy. A central question is how this learning capability can be transferred into more dynamic and fast-moving industries in which operations are non-repetitive and customer needs are unpredictable. How “lean” can a service organization be? How can professional service organizations, such as law firms, management consulting firms and investment banks, adopt the lean philosophy and become learning organizations themselves? How quickly can a start-up develop a continuous learning capability?
A burgeoning research area is how Toyota’s know-how regarding efficiency, improvement, learning and growth can be applied to the behavioural patterns of individuals whose intention is to increase personal efficiency in combination with work-life balance. How can an individual achieve personal evolution and improve his or her productivity each day? How is it possible to apply lean to yourself?
LeanOnMyself.net is a platform on which individuals publish short articles exploring how lean can be applied to their everyday life. The intention is to generate knowledge about “how” personal productivity (minimizing input and/or maximizing output) can be increased within the following value-adding areas:
- My work (earning money)
- My studies (education and training)
- My administration (e-mail and other admin)
- My home (shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, bills, errands, etc.)
- Me time (time for yourself and your interests)
- You time (time for family and friends)
- LOM time (Time for LeanOnMyself activities)
- My diet (eat, drink)
- My sleep (sleep, rest)
- My workout (physical exercise)
- My health (physical, phycological and mental health)
Stockholm School of Economics
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