The Toyota Production System became known in the US as Lean Manufacturing [LM]. LM relied on pushing decision-making to the lowest possible level. Doing so allows people who encounter a problem to fix them, instead of some bureaucrat from above. [There is much written on Lean/Agile/Pixar methodologies, so I will not elaborate here.]
In 1994, two Stanford professors embarked on a study of how a trusting atmosphere is developed in business. They concluded that most companies fall into five categories.
- Star Model – They hire elite people from elite universities and other successful companies.
- Engineering – Not many star players but as a group, they have the most power. Think Silicon Valley.
- Bureaucracies – Cultures emerge from thick ranks of middle managers, they have extensive org charts, employee handbooks, and job descriptions.
- Autocracies – Similar to the bureaucracy with the exception that the goals and desires all point back to one person.
- Commitment Model – A place where people stay until they retire. A culture of slow steady growth.
The study concluded that commitment cultures outperformed all others and tended to fail less.
The book discusses Probabilistic thinking, and how most people do not use it in their lives. This method forces you to view a problem from all sides, calculate the percentage of each outcome occurring, and make your decision based on the percentage. In the book, an example of poker playing was given to illustrate.
To Be Continued………