The secret of a consistent Japanese approach in the West
I am often asked in companies: why does the Japanese approach fail in the West? Everyone knows that there are many possible causes and many business effects.
In recent years I have had the great honor and privilege of discussing intensely and intimately about the original Japanese approach (from the beginning to the present day) with Dr. Shigeyasu Sakamoto (my mentor and I think I can say my good friend too).
So why failures? I don’t intend to make a list. It would be easy for me to say that Japanese improvement experts see/perceive the world differently. This is not entirely true. They work a lot and continuously, and consequently they are very good at deeply understanding the micro-movements within a cycle time (human and / or equipment). Then they can easily design much clearer working methods from the beginning, methods that turn into standards with short times and without significant variations (SOP).
I think that here is a big point of the differences between the Japanese approach and us in the West, the first step: the way to achieve the initial and subsequent standardization (the key to the much desired stability and the key to continuous improvement). What do you think?