State-of-the-art management - how it all got started...

I implemented my first Hoshin Kanri in 2010 as part of a Lean Expert project; I found inspiration in Jaguar and Daimler USA’s first target visions. But what did we do differently? It was the first project where we had the support of a psychologist (GBT). In this collaborative effort, our focus was on achieving real and verifiable results, on implementing, supporting and assisting with a controlled change in management behaviour.

The result: the department competently dealt with management and work processes and continued to work and optimise independently, and results were well beyond what was expected.

The one thing that changed fundamentally: it was more than just your typical target vision, one of those colourful pictograms replete with post-it notes and comments and arrows; everyone was driven by the internal conviction to endeavour to do only what made sense for the company and the customer. And that was it. To put both the big and the small things front and centre: clear messages, measurable results.

Another point was the constant and consistent extraction of targets, KPIs and process goals across all hierarchical levels; all shop floor managers operationalised the target vision. It meant working daily, putting in the effort of yet again identifying target deviations; it meant managers fighting with their demons and having faith in another type of management, sometimes having to make decisions, sometimes involving employees, sometimes admitting they needed help.

Ten years later, this article has come to be. It reflects my current outlook, which is to illustrate that Hoshin Kanri is a valuable approach, provided all managers take the leap and dare to reflect and serve the company, and thus, also the customer.

I continued to work regularly with former Toyota colleagues from Burniston. Idzumi Neumärker, a certified expert in Toyota methods, helps me “read between the lines”: transferring Toyota, Japanese culture, to western culture, and providing me with a stable foundation through systematic consultation from GBT.

Thank you.

I hope you enjoy reading my article. If you have questions or ideas, let’s talk. I look forward to hearing from you.



Yours sincerely Jochen


QZ 08/2020




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