Summary of The Elegant Solution

Toyota's Formula for Mastering Innovation

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The Elegant Solution book summary
How does Toyota conquer change? The answer may not be pretty, but it is...elegant.


9 Overall

9 Applicability

7 Innovation

8 Style


Matthew E. May is so enthusiastic that he makes the case for innovation sound a bit too simple, easy and risk-free. He sounds, in other words, like what he is: essentially a committed convert to a specific perspective, an approach that has brought a great deal of genuine value to his life. As a result, getAbstract recommends his book to readers who can take it with a grain of salt. With that bit of leveling understood, let's hope he attracts many such readers, because his points about innovation and value creation are salient and important. He cuts through a lot of the overtheorized verbiage that the subject of innovation has generated, and he provides a clear, broadly applicable action plan. Whether your business is building cars, like Toyota - which provides many, but not all of the examples here - selling hats or even writing fiction, you'll find ample good suggestions about how to apply continual improvement to create innovative, elegant solutions.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How Toyota innovates so well and consistently
  • What principles guide its leaders' actions
  • How to use its model to nurture disciplined innovation at your company


Toyota's Principles of Innovation
Today, innovation is crucial, but difficult. Toyota rises to the challenge, coming up with a million ideas each year that its managers can apply to their process. How? The company innovates at every level, and so should yours. Get everyone in your organization...
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About the Author

Matthew May has been an advisor at the University of Toyota for more than eight years. He founded a Los Angeles firm specializing in innovation.

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