Matt Hrivnak

Kaizen: There's always another future state

Taiichi Ohno (1912 – 1990) was a Toyota executive and one of the chief architects of the Toyota Production System.  He wrote several books about Toyota, most notably Toyota Production System:  Beyond Large-Scale Production and Workplace Management.  I have used Taiichi Ohno Quotes from the very beginning of my lean journey to help me both learn about TPS and to help spread the knowledge to anyone that would listen.


These are some famous Taiichi Ohno quotes:

“All we are doing is looking at the time line, from the moment the customer gives us an order to the point when we collect the cash. And we are reducing the time line by reducing the non-value adding wastes.” – Taiichi Ohno

“The only place that work and motion are the same thing is the zoo where people pay to see the animals move around” (not exact phrase) – Taiichi Ohno

“Where there is no Standard there can be no Kaizen” – Taiichi Ohno

“Why not make the work easier so the person doesn’t have to sweat?  The Toyota style is not to create results by working hard. It is a system that says there is no limit to people’s creativity.  People don’t go to Toyota to ‘work’ they go there to ‘think.’” – Taiichi Ohno

“Costs do not exist to be calculated. Costs exist to be reduced.” – Taiichi Ohno

“The key to the Toyota Way and what makes Toyota stand out is not any of the individual elements…But what is important is having all the elements together as a system. It must be practiced every day in a very consistent manner, not in spurts.” – Taiichi Ohno

“The more inventory a company has, the less likely they will have what they need.” – Taiichi Ohno

“Data is of course important in manufacturing, but I place the greatest emphasis on facts.” – Taiichi Ohno

Again, with any of the lean quotes I present, I try to be as accurate as possible.  If you see any discrepancies in these Taiichi Ohno Quotes, please email me.

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