Chapter 2

Learning from Toyota: Lean Philosophy and Foundations

Listed below are the foundation of Toyota’s success and their ability over the years to sustain Lean. Toyota doesn’t have Lean or do Lean … they are Lean. At Toyota, everything starts with philosophy and their five precepts.

The Five Precepts of Toyota

The Toyota precepts were introduced in in 1935 and were handed down from president to president. They consist of the following five tenets:

1. Be contributive to the development and welfare of the country by working together, regardless of position, in faithfully fulfilling your duties.

2. Be at the vanguard of the times through endless creativity, inquisitiveness, and pursuit of improvement.

3. Be practical and avoid frivolity.

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