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What if I told you Operational Excellence is not about learning and applying, but unlearning and abandoning?

One-size-fits-all strategies, management, and production systems try to impose their behavioral codes. The results could only be perfect if employees were machines that worked according to preloaded software. However, people act by their feelings. They feel depending on how they think and think according to their desires and beliefs.

Systems often ignore humans and try to drive their behavior. But to realize the true potential, we must understand the human condition and utilize the non-productive energy that cannot be visualized and eliminated by systems like Lean and 6-Sigma. If systems cannot measure the problems they create, they cannot reach excellence.

Developing a Toyota like culture takes decades. Still, there is a way. You don't need to learn anything new for Operational Excellence. It is all about avoiding mistakes. Most managers have similar goals, make similar mistakes, fail, and learn the same things. With the unique combination of Western Philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, and the Toyota Way, this book decodes the secrets of Operational Excellence. Instead of telling what to do to achieve probable success, I decrypt what not to do to avoid guaranteed failures. If the only source of knowledge is experience as Einstein put it, this book can save you many years of trial and error and common failures.

Levent Turk




"5S was once 4S, we added sustain to cope with cultural differences surrounding discipline. The 8 wastes were once the 7 wastes, we added the 8th to cope with cultural differences surrounding respect for humanity. These are both excellent examples of how we often detract from wisdom by adding to it. Thinking we can improve things we don't yet understand has led people down the wrong path for time immemorial. Early in this book, Levent Turk grabs this error in thinking and nails it to the wall with this line; Human potential is not something we need to unleash, but rather, something we frequently block... the rest of the book just gets better from that point forward.  

The author's firsthand training in Toyota, Japan, senior leadership positions in Toyota over 15 years, and 12 years' experience implementing TPS into non-Toyota production environments provides this book with solid foundations. If this were the book we'd inherited in the 90s, maybe we would now be surrounded by leaders who realise a high-performance culture is more to do with their own beliefs in what good looks like and the conditions they create for human brains to survive in ... and not about training tools and tracking KPIs.

What others take a whole book to say, Levent Turk captures in a single paragraph or sentence. This is a book of a 1000 books. If you are in a leadership position and want to create a high-performance culture, do yourself a favour. Hang onto every word, ponder every page, digest, understand, reflect. You will not find a better way to spend your time."

David Bovis


"Levent Turk has written a remarkable book, one that is truly unique in the genre of TPS and Lean. More than a reflection of a lifetime in business, it is a synthesis of ideas woven into a rich tapestry of valuable insights that readers will enjoy reflecting on and putting into action."

Professor Bob Emiliani

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