During the last six months, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced most healthcare frontline organizations to come up with quick and efficient solutions to save as many lives as possible.
We have watched key auto manufacturing companies partner with the biomedical industry speeding-up the development, production, and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators. The healthcare industry has accelerated test kits development in unparalleled capacity and record-breaking time. (Lean)
We have also participated in supporting and respecting our frontline workers in healthcare and essential services, those who were risking their lives to save ours. (Respect for people)
Since the crisis started, the healthcare industry has improved over time in a better understanding of the pandemic and in their followed medical protocols to save more lives. (Continuous improvement)
Even without calling it Lean, and without having lean experience, most organizations have unintentionally used Toyota way and lean principles to fight the war against COVID-19.
All these unprecedented achievements were possible by adopting the Toyota way, which is the bigger umbrella to the Toyota production system (lean production). The Toyota way represents a management principle that rests on two pillars: continuous improvement and respect for people. In the past two decades, Toyota has survived and recovered from multiple disasters (ex. earthquake and tsunami in 2011) by following the Toyota way. This year the Toyota way might be helping all humanity to survive COVID-19 pandemic.