4.3. Conclusion

In this chapter, we have looked at Toyota's eagerness to experiment as an expansive force operating in the company, and how this is practiced and integrated with other forces. The mindset of experimentation is supported by a culture that tolerates and embraces failure as a learning experience, allowing the company to move incrementally while also pushing it to explore extremes in the search for new possibilities. Toyota innovates and improves in small steps, incrementally, using tools like PDCA, eight-step, and A3 reporting routines. At the same time, the force of experimentation occasionally builds up to produce a huge leap, as with the Lexus, the IMV global production platform, and the Scion. These leaps seem radical and counterintuitive in a company where incremental improvement is ingrained. They seek change boldly rather than step-by-step. Yoshimi Inaba shared his thoughts about this contradiction:

Toyota, the epitome of gradualism, was an unlikely place for the Lexus to be born. However, in 1989 it started. Then, in 2003 the Scion started, which was a surprise even for me if I look at it objectively. These initiatives made Toyota unique and enhanced the creativity of the organization. I would like us to have such an initiative once or twice a decade. []

Experimentation requires a shared set of values among the employees revolving around decisive action, tolerance for failure, honesty, social duty, and persistence. These soft skills are built into the working ...

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