MLC Lean Coffee Chat––The Toyota Way, Scientific Thinking and Leadership

  • Friday, April 19, 2024
  • 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
  • Virtual


  • Event is free for MLC Members

Registration is closed

Join us for a virtual MLC Lean coffee chat!

Virtual | Free For Members | 8:30am - 9:30am

The Toyota Way, Scientific Thinking and Leadership

It is not newsworthy that the Toyota Production System is about more than tools:  engagement, culture, leadership, and a way of thinking.

In the second edition of The Toyota Way, Liker agrees with Mike Rother that at the center is scientific thinking. Toyota is the master of developing people and when they do it always comes down to problem solving skills. The meta skill underlying effective problem solving is scientific thinking which requires “slow thinking,” a focus on facts and reality, and a questioning mindset, viewing “solutions” as interesting ideas to experiment with. Getting people to suspend judgement, focus intensely on facts and data, reflect on what happened is not natural as we are habitually inclined to race to solutions and results.

This talk is about why scientific thinking is at the center of the Toyota Way, why it is so difficult, and what it takes to develop leaders to think this way. The bad news: there is no silver bullet.


Dr. Jeffrey K. Liker
Professor Emeritus, Industrial and Operations Engineering at The University of Michigan and President of Liker Lean Advisors, LLC

Jeffrey K. Liker is Professor Emeritus, Industrial and Operations Engineering at The University of Michigan and President of Liker Lean Advisors, LLC. He is author of the best-selling book, The Toyota Way, Second Edition, and has coauthored nine other books about Toyota including The Toyota Way to Service Excellence, and The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership. His graphic novel with Eduardo Lander and Tom Root tells the story of lean transformation at a mail-order company: Lean in a High-Variability Business. A shorter version focuses on kata: Engaging the Team at Zingerman’s Mail Order. Giving Wings to Her Team is a business novel written with Tilo Schwarz about learning to coach the kata way. His articles and books have won thirteen Shingo Prizes for Research Excellence. He was inducted into the Association of Manufacturing Excellence Hall of Fame and the Shingo Academy.

What is a Lean Coffee Chat?

Connect, Share, and Collaborate with your MLC network

It's an open atmosphere to discuss all things Lean, share professional challenges people are experiencing in their Lean journey, and network with like-minded peers.

Pros to attending a coffee chat:

  • Leverage our MLC membership knowledge base
  • Focus on implementation of Lean tools
  • Opportunity to network
  • Share best practices
  • Stay connected with other MLC members

Non-MLC members welcome too.

New To The MLC?

At the MLC, we do our best to be inclusive at every level of experience, whether it’s a conference, Gemba walk or any other of our membership activities.

An individual or organizational membership gives you a year’s worth of great Lean learning and networking at low- or no-cost!

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software