Episode #76

Toyota Gives Me a Personal Productivity Makeover

Going low-tech to find deep thoughts with a master of efficiency.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Productivity demands new ideas. Think about it: As the Industrial Age gives way to the Information Age, we office workers pecking away at our keyboards are akin to the assembly line workers churning out product. But can a knowledge employee streamline her production process to be as be as efficient as a finely-tuned modern factory? 

I invited Toyota's automotive productivity guru, Jamie Bonini, to help me find out by giving me and New Tech City an efficiency makeover. Bonini travels the country implementing the Toyota Production System, a playbook for achieving extreme efficiency through iteration and something called Jidoka

But my "product" isn't car after car after (almost) identical car. It's a podcast that changes every week. And what I need more of are ideas, as well as time. So how does Bonini deal with the glitches in my assembly line, like sick kids and a glut of emails? Well, he goes low-tech.

His answer to digital clutter is simplicity and flow. And, basic as that sounds, it is hard to put into action. Really hard. But that's the point. Listen to Bonini guide us through the process of applying the Toyota Way to regular people on this week’s New Tech City. Or read a few here

Subscribe to the podcast to get the extended New Tech City each week.


And here's what our board looks like now. No promises it won't get updated again soon.

    Music Playlist
  1. Hook, Line and Sinker
    Composer: Jack Ventimiglia
  2. Fall For Bliss Slowly
    Artist: Kenneth J. Brahmstedt
  3. Clock
    Artist: Jack Ventimiglia

Hosted by:

Manoush Zomorodi

Comments [7]

nDru from Wash DC

No, seriously...did the Toyota jedi save your bacon or no? Multi-colored post-its, white board? Honestly now...

Aug. 13 2014 10:13 PM
Luke from South Africa

Such an awesome podcast find, from South Africa.

Jul. 16 2014 10:54 AM
Trevor Fox from Portland, Oregon

Cool. I love process! Did you happen to come across any interesting reads or resources in your research for this story. I'm interested in getting some more depth. Thanks

Mar. 05 2014 04:12 PM
Jean from Westfield NJ

Perhaps this could be the lifeline I've been seeking as I drown in a sea of papers! Thank you!

Mar. 05 2014 12:41 PM
Kip S. Bay from Manhattan

I liked this great idea, but modified it somewhat -- changing it from Post-It Notes on a giant whiteboard to a line-up of slides in PowerPoint Slide Sorter. Easier for me to access while at the computer and fewer Post-It Notes floating around.

Mar. 05 2014 09:43 AM
Bonny from New York

Thanks! I love the low tech solutions! It really makes sense!!!!

Mar. 05 2014 09:32 AM
Morgan from Manhattan

Amazing! I listen to NPR/WNYC all day, most days and this was one of the best segments I've heard. Thank you.

Mar. 05 2014 08:00 AM

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