Be Ahead of the times

Always be Studious and Creative, Striving to Stay Ahead of the Times

There is no doubt that Toyota founder Sakichi Toyoda was ahead of his time. A persistent inventor, he revolutionized the task of weaving—traditionally mundane, time-consuming, hard labor—with his automatic loom. Eventually he and his son turned their attention to the automotive industry, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Among Toyota Industries Commercial Finance’s (TICF) core values, each rooted in the Toyoda Precepts, this one, “Always be studious and creative, striving to stay ahead of the times,” seems to best reflect Toyota’s dedication to innovation.

The precept continues: “Widely seek excellent ideas and results in the world, search the depth of your own knowledge and know-how, and continuously create world-leading new value.” It’s a commitment TICF associates make every day and is foundational to the goal of trying new things to find a better way—even if at first you fail.

The overarching goal for leaders is to set the target to be the best in the world and challenge and inspire others to do the same. Similarly, managers are expected to explain the purpose and importance of each task to their teams to foster cooperation, while encouraging the teams to share their knowledge and wisdom, then take that feedback into account when making decisions.

For their part, associates are urged to actively make suggestions and embrace a mindset that allows them to feel comfortable with the occasional failure on the road to success.

“ Open the window. It’s a big world out there.”

Sakichi Toyoda

As modeled by Sakichi, great strides are made when you examine an existing concept or practice and then focus on how you can improve it to discover something different or better. Never be content with current accomplishments, constantly aim to innovate on the latest trends, and reinvent yourself and your work to be cutting edge.

As Sakichi said, “Open the window. It’s a big world out there.” At TICF, exploring the world provides a never-ending wellspring of inspiration.