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Toyota Kata Training

Are you interested in developing your employees’ abilities to the fullest potential? Do you want to improve employee motivation and the problem-solving practices within your company? The Toyota Kata culture workshop allows you to systematically approach problem solving with your employees to continuously build your team members’ development skills.

What Is Toyota Kata?

Toyota Kata refers to the culture of continuous improvement as observed to be successful at Toyota.

A kata is a well-structured routine that uses muscle memory to establish skills and mindsets for continual learning throughout a business. As with riding a bike or driving a car, the kata becomes second nature and is performed with little conscious awareness through practice and reinforcement. But rather than merely memorizing a routine, the Toyota Kata implements habits of thought and action that can then be passed on to others. Team members, including business managers, practice a kata that channels their creative abilities and teaches members the skills behind an innovative solution.

Toyota’s lauded improvement process features two types of kata: improvement kata and coaching kata.

Toyota Kata


Change arrives fast these days. Competitors emerge overnight, new technologies alter the business, and labor market conditions are uncertain.  How do you ensure continued success in such complex, dynamic, and unpredictable conditions?

The default way people think about problems often involves jumping to conclusions and immediately seeking to solve problems, because the brain does not like uncertainty. The unconscious part of our brain takes bits of surface information, quickly extrapolates to fill in blanks, and gives us a false sense of confidence in our conclusion. And then we start making costly mistakes.

Toyota Kata does not teach problem solving, but rather a mindset that can make people more effective at problem solving – through practicing “Starter Kata.” Starter Kata are small routines or protocols that get practiced deliberately, especially at the beginning, to help people acquire a new skill. Starter Kata increase the speed of learning and are especially helpful when companies want to develop a shared way of thinking and working in a group of people, because everyone starts with practicing the same basics.
There are two main elements within Toyota Kata and each has its own set of Starter Kata - Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata.

The Improvement Kata helps develop fundamental skills of working like a scientist. The learner iterates or experiments his or her way toward a desired goal instead of deciding the way forward. This way of thinking and working helps people successfully deal with uncertainty and challenges.

The Coaching Kata is a repeating routine by which managers teach Improvement Kata to everyone in the company. The teacher or coach gives the learner procedural guidance, not solutions, helping the learner successfully overcome obstacles and develop confidence. Since many managers do not have experience in coaching others to think this way, the Coaching Kata helps managers develop these skills. With Toyota Kata, managers can develop their own coaching skills and their team members’ problem-solving skills simultaneously.

Toyota Kata is not a tool or a solution, but instead a routine performed every day to improve results through people.  This isn’t something you implement; Kata are practiced routinely to develop skill and drive proficiency.  Given that they’re practiced, this implies that there is no end.  If you’re ready to build capability in people with scientific thinking, this course is for you.
This 2-day course will teach you how to take human talent and make them willing and capable of solving problems every day.

  1. Understand the direction or challenge
  2. Be clear on current condition
  3. Establish the next target condition
  4. Experiment toward target condition

The instructor is Andy Oskam, MANTEC's LEAN Development Manager.  Andy is #22 trained in the World to conduct this course through TWI’s exceptional method.

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Please contact us if you would like to know if spaces are still available.

What Is Improvement Kata vs. Coaching Kata?

The improvement kata is the heart of Toyota Kata. As the fundamental problem-solving pattern for improving and adapting business practices, improvement kata is based on a four-step process:

  1. Understand the desired direction or vision.
  2. Perceive the actual current condition.
  3. Define the next target condition and what you expect to achieve through your desired path.
  4. Move toward that target condition through small experiments, uncovering obstacles along the way that your team can work on.

This cycle is repeated until a target condition has been reached, targeting one at a time and building on discoveries that team members make along the way.

Once the improvement kata is understood, the equally important coaching kata is used to support learners in the fourth stage of the improvement kata through helping learners focus on the right direction and improve their learning. The coaching kata allows you to teach employees at every level using the following questions:

  1. What is the target condition?
  2. What is our actual condition right now?
  3. What obstacles are preventing the desired condition from occuring? Which one are you working on?
  4. What is your next step? What do you expect to happen?
  5. When can we see what we’ve learned from taking that step?

What Can I Expect to Learn in a Toyota Way Course?

Toyota Kata training benefits your organization through:

  • Providing a scientific, structured routine that can be applied to achieve any organizational goal
  • Allowing team members to navigate obstacles and uncertainties together to incorporate solutions
  • Supporting managers in a mentor role to their employees
  • Visualizing experiments in a way that enables team members to learn from small steps every day

Contact MANTEC for a Course Today

If your manufacturing business is located in southcentral PA, MANTEC can provide a comprehensive on-site Toyota Kata culture workshop that will allow your company to expand through unique problem-solving strategies for continuous organizational improvement.

Allow MANTEC to help you experience the benefits of a trusted improvement and coaching approach. Contact us today to request a course or get more information.