Select Page

Is your organization interested in developing new habits and allowing people to think differently about problems and goals? Is it time to use scientific thinking as a way to adapt and generate competitive advantage, while being more effective and successful? How about developing a culture of continuous learning and improvement, at all levels, through deliberate practice? If so, you may be ready for Toyota Kata.

Toyota Kata is a managerial approach that trains people to achieve continual improvement while leveraging scientific thinking. It does not teach problem-solving, but rather a mindset that can make people more effective at problem-solving. By utilizing this systematic mindset, an improvement culture can be created which will optimize gains made from traditional lean tools.

The Power of Habit and Its Influence on Organizational Culture

The human brain is wired to develop habits—nearly unconscious reactions to inputs. This helps the brain work efficiently, avoiding the effort of deliberate thought. We often develop and use habits without even thinking about it. To create or change a habit, we need to deliberately practice the new habit. Over time, our mindset changes and in the long term, these mindsets can build organizational culture.

Toyota Kata

In Toyota Kata, every process, every day, is being improved. It is used throughout the organization, on all processes, utilizing the skills of all people. It uses two basic concepts to drive improvement:

Improvement Kata: Identifies and drives improvement of processes and helps develop the fundamental skills of working like a scientist. The learner iterates or experiments his or her way toward a desired goal. This way of thinking and working helps people successfully deal with uncertainty and challenges.

Coaching Kata: Guides and teaches the Improvement Kata. Without coaching, a learner may not practice the right pattern, or practice ineffectively. Without coaching, a change in our brain’s wiring is less likely to occur. The Coaching Kata helps develop skills for supporting learners as they practice the Improvement Kata. 

Ready to Get Started? 

By practicing Toyota Kata, anyone can become better equipped to navigate ambiguity and reach challenging goals. So, if you want to enable the people in your organization to achieve their full creative potential, contact us today to learn more about Kata approaches. Upon completion of our on-site coaching, you will be able to: 

  • Leverage the scientific thinking model 
  • Utilize both the Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata 
  • Apply techniques of deliberate practice 
  • Develop and operationalize improvement Kata patterns 
  • Create a deliberate culture for learners and coaches 

Why NC State IES? 

Our track record of bottom-line results give clients the confidence to implement proven high-performance solutions. Our world-leading experts and experienced industry specialists engineer solutions to increase productivity, promote growth and enhance performance. Our extensive partnerships with business, industry, education and government generate a unique culture of collaboration that provides broad access to cutting-edge expertise, research and technology. We create economic, societal and intellectual prosperity.