released on May 2005
Managing Director of TMC, 1950-1981
"The Spirit of Being Studious and Creative" has been deeply embedded in the Toyota Way in all areas of operations — ever since the concept was very first introduced by Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, Ltd. It is the fundamental concept behind "Good Thinking, Good Products," the slogan adorning Toyota factories around the globe. It was born from the Toyota Creative Ideas and Suggestions System (TCISS), which encourages employees to suggest improvements at work.
The system was introduced by Managing Director Eiji Toyoda when it became clear during the post Second World War economic recovery that Toyota's production facilities needed to be modernized. Toyoda took the idea from a Ford Motor Company plant which he had visited in July 1950. A suggestion system employed by Ford placed emphasis on supporting its improvement activities through opinions not only from the factory, but also from the management side.
Based on this system, Toyota sought, not simply to copy, but to improve the system in line with the Toyota Way and established the TCISS in May 1951. Although the TCISS offered incentives to employees, the real value of the system was that it provided motivation to employees by focusing on their skills and creativity. The TCISS systemized the practices that had been customary since the time of Toyota Motor Corporation founder Kiichiro Toyoda: respecting opinions from production and sales and conducting spontaneous on-site inspections while simultaneously inviting suggestions for improvements. With this development in mind and to inspire employee participation, a company slogan, "Good Thinking, Good Products," was picked at an in-house contest in 1953 and is still used to this day.
"Good Thinking, Good Products."
The original banner, in Japanese, hanging in a plant in Japan
As the years passed, the TCISS became steadily more productive. Teams were formed to create ideas for improvements, and the suggestions themselves became more substantial as all employees were encouraged to review their jobs constantly and implement improvements.
This Kaizen (continuous improvement) Spirit has continued to develop over the years and is deeply embedded in Toyota's culture, not only in production but also in sales operations around the globe.
The first winners of the Toyota Creative Ideas and Suggestions System and the committee chairman, Shoichi Saito (center)
Employees at the suggestion box
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