8.4. Action Orientation

The preference for action is a quintessential Toyota trait. The Toyota Way 2001 describes this preference in the section on genchi genbutsu or going to the frontline to see reality as it is: "We take action decisively in order to produce results. We neither play games impetuously nor waste time on endless discussion of possibilities. We seek a measured, steady pace toward decision making that results in timely action without the needless risk of haste."[] As head of the Motomachi factory from 1996 to 1999, Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe started the "One Rank Up" movement based on the conviction that the entire factory would move forward to the next stage only if each and every worker pitched in to help. He emphasized the importance of individuals taking small steps for the benefit of the whole:

I asked the factory workers to take one year to engage themselves in one thing that they could boast about at the front line, something that they could be proud of in the world. It could be something as simple as making sure everybody greets each other, or getting 4S (Seiri, Seiton, Seiketsu, Seiso, meaning organized, well-ordered, neat, and clean) to the next level .... In order to produce results, you absolutely must act with dogged determination, steadily, and repeatedly. I occasionally venture forth to the front line to see [the results] for myself.[]

The value of taking action is passed on through generations in popular phrases such as: "If you're 60 percent ...

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