Toyota Kata

Written by Mike Rother and translated into Swedish by Joakim Bjurström
Published by McGraw Hill, 2009

Languages: English and Swedish

Buy the English edition here.
Buy the Swedish edition here.

Toyota Kata is the natural complement to The Toyota Way, the book that put Lean on the international map. This book provides new insights into Toyota's famous management principles and shows how to practically lead and develop workers in a way that fully utilizes their potential. The book is based on six years of research on Toyota's personnel management practices. It clarifies and illustrates the organizational pattern that Mike Rother has chosen to name Kata: partly the Improvement Kata, which is WHAT you do, and partly the Coaching Kata that shows HOW you do it. Toyota Kata gives managers and leaders of all levels pragmatic models for both reflection and action in order to strengthen the organization's long-term competitiveness. The book has sold more than 50,000 copies since 2009 and has been translated into several languages.

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"Toyota Kata is the first book I've read that describes the application of Lean correctly, that is, how to get people in an organization to grow. One of the difficulties when introducing Lean is to understand how leaders need to act - Toyota Kata describes this in an educational and understandable manner." - Gert Frick, Vice President Global SPS Office, Scania

"Every now and then, a new Lean book appears that really gives the reader an epiphany and pushes understanding a distinct step forward. For me, Toyota Kata was such a book. It describes a very appealing combination: an experimental and challenge-driven improvement methodology complimented with a sturdy coach structure." - Magnus Lord, licensed physician, civ ing., civ ek.

"In a healthcare that's day by day becoming increasingly resource-demanding and complex, practical learning and leadership methodology, as in the Toyota Kata book, will be very important. Through descriptions of Improvement and Coaching KATA, we understand how this is happening at Toyota. We have a lot to learn from them." - Jonas Leo, Chief Physician / Surgeon / Improvement Coach, Capio St. Göran Hospital

About the authors

Mike Rother is an engineer, scientist, teacher and lecturer in topics such as management, leadership and improvement and change work. He has been linked to the University of Michigan, the Industrial Technology Institute, the Fraunhofer Society, and the Technical University of Dortmund. Rother's work has led him to a large number of companies around the world, where he collaborates with others to test ideas and share his knowledge. He has previously written Learning to See (1997, with John Shook), Training to See (2000; with John Shook) and Creating Continuous Flow (2001; with Rick Harris). Mike Rother lives in Ann Arbor, USA.


"Toyota Kata gets to the essence of how Toyota manages continuous improvement and human ingenuity, through its improvement kata and coaching kata. Mike Rother explains why typical companies fail to understand the core of lean and make limited progress―and what it takes to make it a real part of your culture."
―Jeffrey K. Liker, bestselling author of The Toyota Way

"By uncovering exactly what makes Toyota the standard bearer in a way that is accessible to every management level, in every industry, Rother has given the business world a true gem―Toyota Kata is a must read!
Keith Allman, President, Delta Faucet Company

"Mike Rother's Toyota Kata is a rare and exciting event―a book that casts entirely new light on a much-heralded set of management practices, giving those practices new significance and power.
from the Foreword by H. Thomas Johnson, author of Profit Beyond Measure

"In Toyota Kata, Rother has put his finger on the heart of the coaching process at Toyota. He has distilled the PDCA process to its simplest and most essential core. Much of Toyota's success is rooted in these subtle yet powerful behaviors Mike so clearly describes. Kata provides a level of clear insight into the key principles underlying Toyota culture in a way that can be easily understood and applied. Essential reading for any company committed to lasting culture change."
Bill Costantino, W3 Group, Former Group Leader TMMK (Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, Inc.)

KATA Master Trainer

Contact Joakim Bjurström for more information about TWI and KATA.