Behind Toyota surpasses GM
The competition between GM and Toyota is, in the final analysis, the competition between the American-style elite team and the Japan-style all-member competition. It is the competition between the elite team of thousands of people and the powerful army of hundreds of thousands of people. Wen/3A Liu Chengyuan, Chairman of Enterprise Management Consulting Company
According to the newspaper, in 2007, the domination of the world auto industry will officially change hands. Toyota will replace General Motors, the world's largest automaker since 1931, and become the world's largest. According to Toyota's forecast, the company will manufacture 9.34 million vehicles in 2007, surpassing the level of 9.2 million vehicles of General Motors in 2006. GM has not released its forecast for 2007 production, but it will close several factories and cut thousands of workers in the last two years. The production in 2007 will either fall or remain flat. Therefore, the president of Toyota said confidently, "Exceeding GM is not a goal, but a result."
Toyota has always been a low-profile "follower", while GM is a high-profile "leader". The result is that followers have defeated leaders! How did Toyota beat GM? It is easy to make this problem clear on the surface. For example, Toyota's success can be attributed to Japanese dedication, Japanese attention to detail, high quality of Japanese industrial workers, Toyota people invented lean production, and so on.
Here, we find an interesting phenomenon. That is, when American enterprises succeed, our experts and scholars, including Americans themselves, can be very excited to find extremely high-sounding reasons, such as strategic success, brand success, capital operation success, magic president, and so on. Most of the "magic presidents" themselves can also make a lot of "reputation" capital from then on, and make a lot of dollars by selling books and speeches.
However, in the face of the success of Japanese enterprises (most of them are successful), the above praise words are basically useless, and neither the academic school nor the western school can say anything.
Toyota people's understanding of strategy is very "superficial", and some thoughts can even be called "farmer consciousness"; Toyota is "petty" in brand packaging, which is not as good as some of our domestic enterprises willing to spend money on advertising; Toyota people are not good at (capital) operation, and many of the money they can earn is not earned; Toyota has no magic president, and many of us probably don't know who is the current president of Toyota; Toyota has never raised the "biggest" goal, but has been down-to-earth. Like Toyota, there are a number of outstanding Japanese enterprises such as Ricoh, Canon and Fuji Xerox.
It can be seen that the success of Japanese enterprises is often different from that of American enterprises. It is usually caused by extremely internal factors. It is for this reason that the success of Japanese enterprises makes experts and scholars difficult to find high-sounding "reasons for praise". However, if we can't see the inherent advantages of these enterprises, we can't get inspiration from their success.
I have been paying close attention to and studying a number of continuously successful Japanese enterprises, such as Toyota and Ricoh, and found that their management ideas contain a lot of oriental cultural characteristics and the philosophy of our ancestors. Because their management ideas are not new, researchers are not interested. Keep a low profile, be modest, do not make things public; Be pragmatic, rigorous and do everything to the letter; Persistence, persistence and pursuit of perfection; Equality, respect and advocate full participation. These ideas and propositions do not seem novel, but they are the business principles that the silent winners such as Toyota and Ricoh have adhered to for a long time.
These qualities and internal advantages possessed by Toyota, Ricoh and other enterprises are exactly what our manufacturing managers lack most and need to understand and learn most. In view of this, the author makes an objective analysis based on his own experience, hoping that readers can experience it.
Keep a low profile, be modest and show off
Toyota people are famous for their low profile. The president of Toyota has not forgotten to tell his employees that they should walk on their right side (the main road faces the sky on each side, but how many people still remember the rules after success?). When the eyes of the whole world are focused on Toyota, Toyota people remain silent and continue to do their own things silently. They have only one goal, that is to "make the best car in the world efficiently".
I have been in Ricoh for 10 years and deeply realized the importance of this principle. Ricoh President himself rarely appeared in the spotlight. Even though he won the National Business Performance Award of Japan twice in the past decade, he still kept a low profile. He also often warned employees that they should put down the "Ricoh" shelf and learn to use their personal strength (ability and influence) to communicate with people around them (especially suppliers and people in the community). In the evening, we should carry the brand of "Ricoh" for entertainment, and maintain our taste. We should not ruin the reputation of "Ricoh" because of personal debauchery. As the saying goes, "We can get more help if we lose". This character has a profound impact on the operation of enterprises, especially the spirit of equality and reciprocity in the transactions with suppliers, which ultimately makes suppliers become an important cornerstone of the success of Toyota and Ricoh. This is an advanced supply chain management concept. Where some "smart" people seem really not smart, it is precisely the important ideological basis for their success.
On the contrary, those Japanese enterprises who think they are completely westernized and learn to make public do not live well. The most typical example is SONY. I like SONY products very much. However, some changes in SONY in recent years are worrying. What I see are three aspects. One is that SONY usually requires to use English in internal meetings (I have participated in the meeting, and communication efficiency and accuracy are reduced, and it is easy to cultivate employees' sense of superiority). The other is the management of suppliers. In the past, there was less support from their own people, which was replaced by strict "review and performance appraisal" (learn from Americans); The third aspect is that SONY people have also begun to learn to make public like Americans (the sense of superiority is followed by publicity), and the boss of a different region will have to publicize it all over the world. Some people may say that SONY's decline in recent years and these changes may be coincidental, but I would say that there is an inevitable link between them. I believe that SONY people will deeply reflect on their unprincipled Westernization in the future
Be pragmatic, rigorous and do everything to the letter
Successful Japanese enterprises are practicing an idea called "Three Realism", that is, scene, object and reality. That is to say, when solving problems, we should go to the "scene", confirm the "real thing", carefully explore the "reality", and put an end to all bureaucratic practices such as building cars behind closed doors or holding meetings behind closed doors. This pragmatic and rigorous work attitude not only creates first-class product quality, but also cultivates the pragmatic and rigorous work style of employees.
In Ricoh, we changed the "three realizations" into "five realizations", and added "cash" and "cash recognition" in addition to the three realizations. It is to require managers and employees to conduct economic (amount) evaluation on any event (good is called "improvement", bad is called "failure"), confirm and summarize, and cultivate employees' strong cost awareness. Doing things without compromise is often reflected in the attention and pursuit of details.
There are many specific methods of tri-existence and attention to details. For example, the manufacturing manager's desk is next to the production line; The meeting is held at the scene of the problem rather than in the conference room; The top leader will often communicate with front-line employees; Managers at all levels pay special attention to cultivating good habits of employees. In today's era of general impetuosity and opportunism, it is very important to establish a pragmatic, rigorous and uncompromising attitude.
Persistence, persistence and pursuit of perfection
People find that Japanese culture lacks revolutionary spirit, but they emphasize continuous improvement while paying attention to inheritance. Therefore, improvement and continuous pursuit of excellence have become the main channel for Japanese to improve their management level. If the revolution may be accompanied by bloodshed and risk, then more improvement can bring happiness.
In order to continuously improve and pursue perfection, Japanese enterprises have extracted many effective tools and methods from practice, such as 5S, TQC, QCC, TPM and JIT. In order to achieve an excellent culture of improvement through the use of these management tools, it is impossible to do without perseverance, perseverance and continuous pursuit of perfection. The Japanese will spend their lives doing 5S management, TPM and lean production. However, the managers of our enterprises often expect to find a quick way to cut the throat. As a management consultant, I often encounter customer requirements. Can you help us manage quickly (3 months? 6 months?).
The basic work of 5S is religious in Japanese enterprises, and it is an important part of the work. TPM started in the 1970s, but today many Japanese enterprises are still pursuing it. Lean production was proposed by Toyota people, and it has become a magic weapon for manufacturing enterprises to continuously improve their management level.
If I think that the Japanese are "conservative or stereotyped", I suggest that they be regarded as "persistent and persistent". To create a culture of continuous pursuit of perfection in the enterprise, it is impossible without persistence and perseverance. What many of our managers lack is this "persistence and perseverance".
Equality, respect and advocate full participation
The United States is a typical elitist country in the world. The elite leads the country, and the elite dominates the country's enterprises. Unlike the elitism of the United States, Japanese enterprises advocate team strength more, respect the personality and ability of front-line employees more, and try to explore their wisdom.
Labor relations in American enterprises are relatively tense, because employees can only compete with the management team by relying on the labor union. The labor-capital relationship in Japanese enterprises is basically positive, because both sides can understand the role of each other more. In Japanese enterprises, they insist that the quality of products is designed and manufactured by front-line employees (designers and front-line workers). It is not managers but employees who really create value. Managers can only realize their own value in the process of serving front-line employees. This is also one of the important ideas of lean production. The greatest thing about Toyota is that it has been trying to explore the wisdom of front-line employees every day for decades, and has spared no effort in cultivating workers' awareness and skills.
It can be seen that the competition between GM and Toyota is, in the final analysis, the competition between the American-style elite team and the Japan-style all-member competition, and the competition between the elite team of thousands of people and the powerful army of hundreds of thousands of people. As long as this kind of competition is on the same platform (the scale difference is not too big), it is doomed to win or lose. Of course, the author's assertion may only apply to the manufacturing industry. It may have little reference significance for the software industry or speculative industry.
(This article is an original article by Zhuge Changqing, and the pictures are selected from the Internet. Welcome to forward it, and please indicate the source for forwarding)
Introduction to Zhuge Changqing: Zhuge Changqing, the inheritor and promoter of traditional Chinese culture, is willing to "learn from sages, promote virtue, revitalize China and benefit the world" together with people with the same ideals in the world.
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