At the Professional Development Day keynote session yesterday STCC faculty and staff heard lean methodologies expert Karl Ohaus speak about how Toyota, Boeing, and others improve their business processes.

He also talked about how Ivy Tech Community College (IN) used these same lean methodologies to improve their operations, thereby helping their students.

Karl Ohaus was invited to speak to STCC faculty and staff as part of PD Day to deliver a primer on a Value Stream Mapping project the campus will embark upon ahead of our 2021 reaccreditation self study.

But back to “The Toyota Way.”

You might recall that a couple decades ago, General Motors and Toyota had a joint development plant (called NUMMI) where GM wanted to learn “lean” processes to build Japanese-quality cars and Toyota wanted to establish a North American manufacturing base. You might have owned a Chevy Nova (1985-88), Geo Prizm, or a Pontiac Vibe, each a GM-branded version of the Toyota Corolla. The NUMMI plant also produced Corollas, Tacomas, and other Toyotas for North American markets.

But the Toyota culture that existed within NUMMI wasn’t compatible with GM’s corporate culture, and GM pulled out of the venture as part of its 2009 bankruptcy. Karl Ohaus cites the culture piece as an important goal within any value stream process.

Consider how culture fits-in with your work here at the college.

NUMMI story on NPR’s “This American Life”

Here’s the 2010 episode of “This American Life” in which NPR’s Frank Langfitt interviews NUMMI employees after that plant had shuttered that year.

Karl Ohaus keynote