At the Japanese auto giant, unplanned, agenda-free meetings are ubiquitous and indispensable.
None of the conference rooms were available, so the meeting was held in a maintenance closet...
Shoehorned into the room were factory floor managers, assembly line associates ...and quality control experts at the Anna, Ohio, engine plant, where Honda has been making motors and drivetrain components since 1985.
...All points of view or suggestions are equal. A serious crisis on the plant floor spurred [a} spontaneous meeting.
Such unplanned, shapeless gatherings are the hallmark of the Honda Way. They are called waigaya, ...a name given them by Takeo Fujisawa, the business partner of company founder Soichiro Honda...
On that day…, away from the thrum of the factory, …a Honda manager said to the others, “Look, I’d prefer not to belabor this issue because we’ve got a lot of work to do to get this process moving. And since the fix will be such a time sink, let’s not make it worse by losing more time discussing it.”
Although most in the room concurred with the manager, one of the associates noted… “We’re doing something very wrong if a slight problem in the engine isn’t addressed until the end of the vehicle’s assembly line… We should have discovered this problem before.”