Boek The elegant solution

Highlights van het boek:

  1. interessante inzichten, zoals “kaizen reduces the resistance to change” (blz 175)
  2. of deze “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing to take away” (blz 180, Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
  3. the de facto incubator for consistent business innovation, it’s the practice that fosters a strong ethos of labile curiosity in companies like Toyota. And it’s a proven, grassroots way to harvest human creativity.

Auteur(s): Matthew May

Aantal pagina’s: 236

ISBN: 9781847370273

boek The elegant solution

Dit is het waargebeurde verhaal van Paul, zoals beschreven in het boek “The Elegant Solution, Toyota’s formula for mastering innovation”. blz 24

“Never in a million years would I tell this work is creative. Then Toyota took over 20 years ago. They teach us their system then say to us “we want you to tell us how we make it better”. We went from “just do your job” with General Motors to “no one knows the job better than you” with Toyota.

They teach us how to solve problems. They turn us loose in here! They say, stop the line anytime if something is wrong. I was floored. They think I can make their systems better? They’re giving me the power to stop production? That right changed my life. All of a sudden I’m looking for ways to fix problems, make improvements, basically get rid of anything that was stupid. Get rid of waste, they said. Perfect the operation, they said.

So now all of a sudden I’m using my head., I’m the expert. I’m creating new procedures. There you go, creating. I guess there’s an art to it, yeah. It’s not like I carved a Corolla or anything, but I started getting real pride back. Before we didn’t care, we were ashamed to say where we worked. We’d laugh when we saw a car that came out of here. Now we feel like, hey, I built that! The place got cleaned up. We stopped fighting. We all wore the same uniforms, even managers. We started thinking, hey, people are driving these cars, let’s make them safe.

My mark’s all over this place, like everyone else’s. One year we did like eight thousand ideas. The job itself wasn’t creative, never will be, but our job was to be creative. And I guess if you can  be creative in this line of work, you can be creative anywhere.

“Toyota is becoming a double threat: the world’s finest manufacturer and a truly great innovator . . . that formula, a combination of production prowess and technical innovation, is an unbeatable recipe for success.”

— Fortune, February 2006

For the first time, an insider reveals the formula behind Toyota’s unceasing quest to innovate and do more with less, a philosophy that has made it one of the ten most profitable companies in the world (and worth more than GM, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, and Honda combined). In a rare look into Toyota’s ability to consistently achieve breakthroughs that outperform the competition, The Elegant Solution explains what Toyota associates have known all along: it’s not about the cars. Rather, Toyota’s astounding success is just the visible result of a hidden creative process that begins with a seven-digit number.

One million. That’s how many new ideas the Toyota organization implements every year. These ideas come from every level of the organization — from the factory floors to the corporate suites. And organizations all over the world want to learn how it’s done. Now senior University of Toyota advisor Matthew May shows how any company can achieve an environment of everyday innovation and discover the kinds of elegant solutions that hold the power to change the game forever. World-class benchmarks like Lexus, Prius, Scion — even Toyota’s vaunted production system — are simply shining examples of elegant solutions.

A tactical playbook for team-based innovation, The Elegant Solution delivers powerful lessons in breakthrough thinking in a provocative yet practical guide to the three core principles and ten key practices that shape successful business innovation. Innovation isn’t just about technology — it’s about value, opportunity, and impact. When a company embeds a real discipline around tapping ingenuity in the pursuit of perfection, the sky is the limit. Dozens of case studies (from Toyota and other companies) illustrate the universal power and applicability of these concepts. A unique ”clamshell strategy” prepares managers to successfully lead and sustain the innovation effort.

At once a thought-starter and a taskmaster, The Elegant Solution is a vital prescription for anyone wanting to truly master business innovation.

Meer over continu verbeteren:


Continu Verbeteren is vanuit de Lean-filosofie ook bekend onder de naam Kaizen. Met een heldere aanpak zorgt voor Kaizen voor meer en succesvollere verbeteringen.


Plan-Do-Check-Act is bekend geworden door Dr. W. Deming. Ook wel de Deming-circle genoemd.


Kanban is een werkwijze die bij continu verbeteren zorgt voor het realiseren van verbeteringen in de kortst mogelijke doorlooptijd.

Digitale ideeënbus

De fysieke ideeënbus maakt bij steeds bedrijven plaats voor een digitale ideeënbus.


Agile betekent letterlijk wendbaar, flexibel. Het is bedoeld als manier van werken om snel in te kunnen spelen op veranderingen. Agile is meer dan een techniek, het is vooral een mindset.