TOYOTA

KATA

HOME

What is

a Kata?

2.

Coaching

Kata

1.

Improvement Kata

3.

Kata Creates

Culture

5.

Getting

Started

Homepage.html
What_is_a_Kata.html
The_Coaching_Kata.html
Kata_Creates_Culture.html
Getting_Started.html

6.

Challenge

Challenge.html

Presentations

News and Links

Value Stream Mapping

Materials to Download

News_and_Links.html
Presentations.html
VSM.html
Materials_to_Download.html

Extras

Extras.html

4.

Neuroscience

Neuroscience.html

The Improvement Kata

 

Improvement Kata Reference Guide ----->

& Improvement Kata Flowchart Poster

(click to download, pdf format)

A Striving Pattern to Practice Every Day

If you’re into Lean...  The Improvement Kata models the managerial context within

which Toyota's Lean tools are intended to be applied.  It teaches scientific and

purpose-driven behavior, not just hunting for waste or reacting to problems.


Instructions and practice routines for the Improvement Kata are provided in the Improvement Kata Handbook, a free download on the Materials to Download page of

this website.  For an introduction to the IK please review the two presentations below.

The 4-step sequence of the Improvement Kata is

a model of scientific thinking that includes structured

practice routines to operationalize the thinking.


The Improvement Kata pattern is a "meta-habit" that

aims to change our habits of mind so our capabilities

come to greater fruition.  Practicing the Improvement

Kata activates, develops and mobilizes our creative

capabilities and makes us better at achieving goals.

One thing we can know is method


Solutions and answers themselves don't provide sustained competitive advantage

and progress.  Why?  Because the path can’t be determined in advance through

logic & reason, and today's solutions probably won’t fit tomorrow's problems anyway.

What does work is mastering a means of developing your own solutions and

meeting challenges along uncertain paths.  That's what the Improvement Kata is.

The Improvement Kata is for the Learner, and the Coaching Kata

is for the Coach


To make the scientific Improvement Kata pattern

a habit in an organization its managers teach/coach

the Improvement Kata pattern a little bit every day.

The Coaching Kata is a protocol for how to do that

(see the next section).


The patterns and practice routines of the

Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata

provide a universal approach that’s not

a problem-solving method, but a process of

scientific-skill development & mindset change.

"If you go through the Improvement Kata process

you'll get to where you need to get to.  And the

more times you do it the better you will get at it."

     ~ Jim Huntzinger, President, Lean Frontiers

"Go where there is no path

and leave a trail."   ~ Emerson

Excerpt from:  Ichijo, Kazuo and Nonaka, Ikujiro, Knowledge Creation and Management:  New Challenges for Managers, Oxford University Press, 2006, page 25.

Knowledge Assets in Your Company - Learning to Learn


Knowledge assets are not just the knowledge already created, such as know-how, patents, technologies, or brands, but also include the knowledge to create knowledge, such as the organizational capability to innovate.  Although current views on knowledge assets tend to focus on the former because they are easier to measure and deal with, it is the latter that need more attention because they are the source of new knowledge to be created, and therefore a source of the future value of the firm.


One of the most important knowledge assets for a firm is a firm-specific kata (roughly, "pattern" or "Way of doing things") of dialogues and practices.  Nelson and Winter (1982) emphasize the importance of routines for the firm's evolutionary process.  Here, we focus on "creative routines" of kata, which make knowledge creation possible by fostering creativity and preserving efficiency.

Definitions & Terminologyhttp://www-personal.umich.edu/~mrother/KATA_Files/Definitions.pdf