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The Lean CEO by Jacob Stoller

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CHAPTER 2Image

LEAN: A RADICAL NEW APPROACH TO PRODUCTION

By the end of World War II, Allied bombing had systematically destroyed much of Japan’s industrial capability, forcing many manufacturers, including the Toyota Motor Corporation, to suspend operations. It was under those dire circumstances that Kiichiro Toyoda, Toyota’s founding CEO, issued his most famous directive.

 “Catch up with America in three years,” he said, “or the automobile industry in Japan will not survive.”

 The dream of becoming a major player in the U.S.-dominated industry had come from Kiichiro’s father, Sakichi Toyoda, inventor and founder of Toyoda Loom Works. The elder Toyoda ...

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