LeadingSmart

Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

Toyota for the Church

I don't own a Toyota. Never have. But I think there is a lot we can learn from this article about how they build cars. Some notable quotes:

  • "Toyota's competitiveness is quiet, internal, self-critical. It is rooted in an institutional obsession with improvement that Toyota manages to instill in each one of its workers, a pervasive lack of complacency with whatever was accomplished yesterday."

What if we were never satisfied with yesterday's accomplishments?

  • "If your factory is just making cars, once a day the whistle blows and it's quitting time, no more cars to make that day. If your factory is making a new way to make cars, the whistle never blows, you're never done."

Are we focused on planning services, events and retreats--or are we trying to find better ways to help others take steps toward Christ?

  • "By constantly questioning how you do things, by constantly tweaking, you don't outflank your competition next quarter. You outflank them next decade."

Our competition isn't another church. It is every choice an individual has that will take them away from God. How do we outflank the competition in our communities for years to come?

  • "Even with projects that had been a general success, we would ask, 'What didn't go well so we can make it better?'" It's another cliché that is powerful if you take it seriously: You can't solve problems unless you admit them. At Toyota, there is a presumption of imperfection. Perfection is a fine goal, but improvement is much more realistic, much more human. Not a 15% improvement by the end of the quarter, a 1% improvement by the end of the month.

Are we unwilling to settle for really, really good? We aren't building cars. We are transforming lives in a way that can revolutionize communities. Are we serious about doing it better?

Read the entire article here.