A US government study authorised in the late eighties to assess telecommunications traffic in its various modes and methods revealed an astonishing fact. The largest and most efficient gatherer of profound and applicable industrial, economic and political intelligence in the world was not a country.  It was Toyota …  

Guess what organisation in the world, long before the Internet’s arrival, was found to send half a million messages a day from just one country to its home base via satellite?  The CIA? The Israelis? The Russians? Toyota? 

If you guessed Toyota, you would be right.  As unlikely as it sounds, a CIA study in the late eighties found that Toyota sent over 500,000 messages a day from its Torrance, California facility to Tokyo via an encrypted satellite hookup.  We know that the CIA sent about half as many messages around the world per day at that time, and although the Russians’ intelligence was still top notch in the early nineties, its infrastructure didn’t compare to that of Toyota’s. 

Today, many intelligence experts believe that Toyota’s intelligence capabilities are still superior to those of the CIA, the Israelis or any global power.  That’s because Toyota represents an organisation filled with learners who share their knowledge. 

What does this mean to those in the automotive industry?

Toyota is known in many circles as the best institutional learning machine on the planet.  They are fabulous at it – admired by the best intelligence professionals — even the Israelis have benchmarked them. 
Why, you might ask, does that matter? 

The companies who learn the best and the fastest and apply that knowledge will be the companies who win in the global automotive wars in the 21st century.

When a Toyota engineer learns something new, he shares that new knowledge with his company, and new knowledge spreads very quickly.  That knowledge is incorporated into decision-making and acted upon with lightning speed.

That makes Toyota very different from most Western institutions – companies, governments or academia…where knowledge is perceived as the power to get ahead over your colleague in the next cubicle; not a way for the company to get ahead over your competitors across the street or on the other side of the world.  Toyota knows who the “enemy” is.  

Many experts believe that Toyota students have studied the ancient Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu.  More than 2500 years ago, he said, in his book, The Art of War, you must know the enemy and yourself.

Although originally meant to offer wisdom for generals, this principle is relevant to today’s global automotive wars.  In fact, many would call this process global intelligence: the gathering, analysing, synthesising and using information to make better decisions and take better actions.

Companies in competitive situations need this capability.  Companies need to be engaged in routine intelligence work in those areas of the world and in technologies that directly affect their interests and well-being.  A company’s very survival, requires that they know enough to adapt themselves to accommodate changes in their environments. 
The more adaptive the company, the more it can easily change and be proactive.  If a company can produce learning processes to anticipate what will be changing in the environment, it can plan, sometimes predict, and therefore be ready for or actually lead any changes to the environment.  It’s what the US Department of Defense calls “shaping.”

To do that, you need to understand your strengths and weaknesses and your competitors’, because wars are won by strategising how to use your strengths against your enemies’ weaknesses.  This is true for marketplace wars, too. The better and faster you learn about your world the less likely you will be surprised or “paradigmed.”
The MOSSAD of Israel and Toyota have both been studied extensively by the CIA.  Even the former kgb was benchmarking Toyota! 

If your company doesn’t have an intelligence capability, they need to begin by studying Toyota.  Without needed intelligence, anyone, company or country is at risk…it can mean the difference between winning and losing…the difference between life and death.  We all saw the effects of that on September 11.

Dr. Sheila Ronis, The University Group

This article occurs courtesy of eMOTION! REPORTS.com

See also Toyota Corporate Profile.