Our Toyota Kata resources will get you started with this invaluable tool in no time. You will learn about Toyota Kata, have access to videos, podcasts, and more! Also be sure to download the free coaching kata cards.
What is Toyota Kata?
The Toyota Kata framework turns scientific thinking into a practical skill anyone, and any organization, can learn through the deliberate practice of a four step learning and discovery process. By following the Toyota Kata structure, we will elegantly move from our current state, to our desired future state. This structure is broken down into two practice routines.
- The Improvement Kata
- The Coaching Kata
An important note, is that this is not a problem solving methodology. Instead, it is meant to develop the habitual scientific thinking patterns necessary to effectively carry out problem solving.
Toyota Kata Online Video Course
As part of our growing School of Lean library of courses, Toyota Kata - Practice Makes Progress, will guide you from the very beginning of Kata learning to being able to implement your own Kata experiments within a few days.
Through this course you will learn how to make lasting change, and importantly, where to start making your improvements.
Kata in the Classroom
The 4-step Improvement Kata makes for some great classroom exercises for participants of all ages! Watch our free Kata in the classroom videos to see how to run your own KiC events. Also make sure to download all of the materials from Mike Rother's Kata in the Classroom website.
How Do You Get Started with Toyota Kata?
Some wrongly believe that Toyota Kata is a problem solving methodology. And while kata routines often result in improvements, the true purpose of the kata thinking system is to:
Albert Einstein once said, “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” This quote beautifully summarizes what Toyota Kata practitioners call the “Improvement Kata.”
The Improvement Kata follows an easy to learn, but difficult to master, 4-step learning process.
What is the 4 Step Improvement Kata Process?
- Understand the direction or challenge: In this first step we determine the problem we are trying to solve.
- Grasp the current condition: Once we define the challenge, we need to understand not only what we know to be true now, and also what we do not yet know. Put another way, we attempt to deeply understand the current condition.
- Establish the next target condition: Using an American football analogy, if the "challenge" is to score a touchdown...the target condition may very well be to get a first down. In other words, the target condition brings us one step closer to the challenge.
- Experiment against obstacles: Once a target condition is established, we then identify the obstacles in our way. These obstacles allow us to define, and run experiments against them in order to learn what works, and what doesn't.
How Do You Teach the Improvement Kata?
One thing athletes have in common with those learning the Improvement Kata is that both need a good coach.
More importantly, Kata Coaches need to have a consistent routine for teaching the Improvement Kata. This routine is clearly defined with the Coaching Kata.
The Kata coach uses five coaching questions during each coaching cycle. The learner responds to these questions by sharing what they have learned since the last coaching session. Coaching sessions usually last around 10 minutes and need to happen on a regular, often daily, basis.
Toyota Kata Podcasts
Our free Kata podcasts provide real world insights into practicing Kata.
How to Teach Kata in the Classroom
The tables are turned as Mike Rother interviews Ron Pereira about his experiences teaching Kata in the Classroom.
How to Change Your Culture with Toyota Kata
Emiel van Est discusses the vital role of culture in a continuous improvement journey, and how Kata can be used to sustain your success.
How to Think Scientifically in Healthcare
Maurene Stock and Katie Melching shed some light on their lean journey at Mercy Health Muskegon.
How to Think Scientifically
Stephen Derksen discusses how to start thinking scientifically using Toyota Kata.
How to Combine TWI, Kata, and a Kaizen Event
Brandon Brown talks about how his team have brought together multiple methods to create an effective learning system.
How to Understand Your Current Condition
Drew Locher discusses how to not rush to countermeasures before fully understanding your current condition.
Leveraging the Toyota Kata Approach to Learning & Coaching
Hear from Michael Lombard on how his hospital leverages Kata for learning and coaching.
How to Leverage Toyota Kata
Consultant Brandon Brown shares his knowledge of Toyota Kata with us, and explains how it compliments TWI.
How to Use Kata to Create Service Excellence
Author and lean practitioner Karyn Ross discusses Coaching Kata, and continuous improvement in a service context.
Listen to more great podcasts at gembapodcast.com
Additional Video Content
- Toyota Kata Course - Practice Makes Perfect
- How Kata is Being Used to Deploy TWI at Baptist Memorial Healthcare
- Michael Lombard - 10 Lessons from Practicing Toyota Kata
- DSS Launches an Ambitious Project
- Will Lichtig - Using Kata to Address Wicked Problems in Safety
New blog articles are published weekly. The following collection of articles are Toyota Kata focused.
- Kata in the Classroom
- Avoid the Ambush
- Has Anyone Seen My Target Condition?
- Learn, Grow, Share
- You Want Me to Do What!?!
- I Feel Better Already
- Lean Lessons From Driving on the Left Side of the Road
More Toyota Kata Resources
The following resources can help you on your Toyota Kata journey.
- Book: Toyota Kata: Managing People for Improvement, Adaptiveness and Superior Results by Mike Rother
- Book: Toyota Kata Practice Guide by Mike Rother
- Book: Toyota Kata Culture: Building Organizational Capability and Midset through Kata Coaching by Mike Rother and Gerd Aulinger
- Event: Kata Summit
- Resource: Mike Rother's Toyota Kata Website
- Resource: Kata in the Classroom Website
- Resource: Toyota Kata YouTube Channel
- Consulting: On-Site Toyota Kata Training
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