By Tom Wilson
NUMMI was a JV between Toyota and GM starting in the early 80’s
Toyota wanted experience working in USA.
GM wanted to know about the mystical TPS.
One of the many tools I learned while
working with Toyota at NUMMI was a
simple tool/phrase …..
Make Rule, Teach Rule, Keep Rule
• Make Rule: Make rules, standards, work
procedures very clear and reasonable.
• Teach Rule: Teach, don’t tell, the rules to
everyone and ensure understanding and
• Keep Rule: Need to follow up, reinforce,
and reteach to ensure they are understood
and followed. Remove those not willing to
Make Rule: Japan vs. West
Basis of the Japanese inspired
• Japanese: Few rules big on follow.
• Westerners: Many rules little follow.
Teach Rule: Japan vs. West
• Japanese managers teach and
• Western managers depend on others to
do the teaching and even more recently
teaching via internet.
Keep Rule: Japan vs. West
• Japanese managers….The shop floor….
Get involved in daily work….Daily follow-
• Western managers….Time in meetings,
office work….depend audits to follow-up
• Big difference between effectiveness of
daily involvement vs management audits.