What else can Toyota teach us about goals?
2 further principles to take into consideration;
1.) They base decisions on a long-term philosophy, even at the expense of short-term gain.
2.) They learn through relentless reflection (hansei) and continuous improvement (kaizen)
A long term philosophy : We all have that moment when we’re presented with a choice. It’s that moment you’re in a dry January and someone pours you a glass of wine. Or the birthday party you go to and the cakes right there. A little won’t hurt right? A lot of problems in banking and business come from a short term view. “This is a good deal.” But 5 years down the line, those short term trades they made come back to hurt them with a vengeance. The best companies aren’t looking at the next few months, they’re looking at the next few years or even decades ahead. Likewise, you should identify what your priorities and aims are in the long term. Naturally, you’ll be tested. Unfortunately, everything worthwhile will require sacrifice. It isn’t easy to say “no” to things. But how often do we hear the story of the immensely talented athlete that doesn’t put the work in or can’t give up the party lifestyle and doesn’t fulfil their potential? It’s a cliche for a reason, because it happens so often. I’m not saying you need to fill your life with sacrifices. But you need to always be aware of what you want in the long-term because it’s the short-term decisions you make that ultimately deliver the long-term success. Always try to see the bigger picture.
Reflection and continuous improvement: Toyota view themselves as a learning organisation. They view this as a continuous process, it never stops. Likewise, we should never stop learning. The easiest way to learn is to reflect on events. You need to be able to set some time aside to go over what happened. Guess what? Your brain isn’t perfect and it won’t remember everything. So write it down! Reflection on a regular basis is as simple as figuring out what went well and what didn’t go so well. When you can assess these two points on a regular basis, it’s so much easier to work out what you need to change. You’re going to face challenges on a daily basis for the rest of your life. Rather than view this as a depressing fact, it should excite you. Because guess what? The challenges we face are ultimately what define us. We can only grow through adversity. It’s a lot easier to face these challenges if you’re learning from them. If you’re continuously learning and improving, you’ll get the right results.