I’ve read two articles in the last couple days about Japanese automakers — Toyota and Honda. Both were complimentary about their training and engineering practices. Both are worth reading:
At American auto companies, finance guys and marketers rise to the top. Not at Honda.
What Toyota knows that GM doesn’t
[…] while … employees were not manufacturing automobiles, they were in training. They were doing safety drills, participating in productivity improvement exercises, attending presentations on material handling and workplace hazards, taking diversity and ethics classes, attending maintenance education and taking a stream of online tests to measure and record their skill improvements.
The second one, about Toyota, really speaks to me. I truly believe that the great companies spend downturns tooling up for the recovery. This is when you invest in training, R&D, and innovation. The economy will recover, and if Blend experiences a slowdown, we’ll won’t spend it sitting around.