JLE: The Fastest Way to Get an Aligned Vision

Your team will see what good looks like - and see it together.

The Japan Lean Experience

  • Discover how you can shape and deliver sustainable business transformation.
  • Build on your own unique company culture.
  • Expand your understanding of the role of leaders.
  • Visit benchmark companies with very different DNA.
  • Identify and build on your company's strengths.
The Japan lean experience
Japan lean experience - the number 1 benchmarking tour

The Number 1 Benchmarking Tour

Makoto's Japan Lean Experience kaizen tours are the best way to get an aligned vision.

We've been leading these tours since 1999.

Business leaders from around the world regard Japan Lean Experience as the most outstanding Lean benchmarking tour in Japan.

Each Tour Customized

The planning for each tour takes into account the interests of those who make up your tour group.

In other words, we tailor our tours to the needs and interests of you, your company and the challenges that you face.

A Life Changing Experience

The tour has a big impact on people. They tell us they found the tour an eye-opener. We hear words like career changing and life-changing. People are energised by what they see and committed to putting those ideas into practice.

Go Home With A Plan

Each experience is designed so leaders go back with a plan to share "the good" with their teams and gemba.

Japan Explained

Japan has a rich culture and history of lean and kaizen processes - and we can give you insight.

This will help you to understand the companies we visit in a cultural context.

From that clarity, we can then look closely at the concepts at play and how these might look in your company.

A Comprehensive Learning Experience

You will be guided by lead practitioners. Every site visit is followed by a debriefing to reflect on what has been experienced. What concepts can be applied to your own environment? These ideas work well in Japan because they work well everywhere.

Build A Culture That Sticks

Do you want to make ideas real and relevant for your people? Do you want to create a culture that sticks? Do you want to take things to the next level? Our tour is aimed at giving you the clarity to do that.

Seamless Logistics

From the time you step off the plane, you'll experience a flow of activity that is stimulating and enjoyable.

Japan explained

Why Japan?

Japan is famous for its commitment to quality, and for its ability to instil pride of workmanship in all levels of an organization.

You will visit exemplary sites, including those in the Toyota Family.*
You will get a chance to see Lean practice applied to manufacturing and non-manufacturing environments each with very different operating models and management systems and values.

Lean business is not merely a Japanese concept. It is an approach that can be universally applied to transform a business culture in a lasting way.

* Due to companies having differing COVID-19 Policies, some sites in the Toyota Family (ex: tier 1 suppliers) are not currently available for on-site visitation.

What Does a Weeklong Tour Look Like?

Facilitation and Learning

The week will begin with an introduction to Japanese culture so that you can get the best experience from the site visits.

After each visit there will be a de-brief to discuss key takeaways. Our experts will help you to understand how to apply what you have seen in your own organisation.

Lean Concepts

During site visits, you will see excellent examples of lean concepts in action, featuring the following tools and principles. These include:

  • 5S & Environmental Sustainability
  • TPM-Total Productive Maintenance
  • TPS - Toyota Production System/Jidoka
  • Leadership Vision for Lean Standardised Work/Standard Work for Leaders
  • Kanban/Pull systems/Just-In-Time Visual Management/Strategy Deployment

Roundtable Debrief

After each site visit, you will have the opportunity to reflect on what was learned in a group debrief. You will have the opportunity to consider:

  • What was unique and impressive
  • What could be improved
  • What participants will do differently “back home”

What We Cover During the Tour

Core concepts of operational excellence, such as value stream thinking, a culture of trust and openness, willingness to try new things, strategy deployment (hoshin kanri), alignment of short-term goals to long-term vision, and innovation.

The role of leadership and how effective companies develop their leaders.

How a culture of Continuous Improvement can be sustained.

The roots of operational excellence and its diversity.

Your own company's culture and how to make your transformation successful.

Understand how to drive fast-paced improvement over decades.

Public / Group Tours

Package includes hotel accommodations, meals, plant visits, and all logistic travel inside Japan.

During this five-day engagement, participants will have exclusive access with Makoto's Lean facilitation experts and interpreters, plus opportunities to have meals with the site managers.

The tour will start late Sunday evening and end on Friday evening, departing on Saturday.

Group size: 15-20 people.

What's Included:

- Hotel accommodation (6 nights)

- Meals

- Site visits

- Travel between sites within Japan / interpreters

- Experienced guides

- Optional sightseeing

- Socialising and networking with other CI professionals facing similar challenges

Private Tours

You can arrange a private tour for your organisation, customised to meet your specific needs. You may have a particular industry you want to focus on, or have an interest in certain speakers.

Private tours can also cater to special requests such as including visiting a customer, attending a convention, facilitated meetings with Japanese professionals or sight seeing.

Private Tours can also be customised so they have an industry focus (rather than Lean), such as aged care, dental, retail design, or innovation.

Tour duration ranges from short 1-2 day tours (that can add-on to business trip to Japan), or longer tours of a week or more.