My Favorite Mistake — 94: Mistakes Working at Toyota and Distilling Whiskey, “What Did We Learn Today?” — David Meier

Founder and master distiller, Glenn’s Creek Distilling

Show notes:

My guest for Episode #94 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is an old friend of mine from professional circles, David Meier. When I first met him, he had left his career at Toyota, and became a consultant in the Lean methodology around the world. He is co-Author of the books The Toyota Way Fieldbook and Toyota Talent.

In recent years, he founded Glenn’s Creek Distillery in Kentucky, which I’ve been able to visit twice. I’ve interviewed David previously a few times on my Lean podcast — about Toyota/Lean and about the distillery.

In today’s episode, David shares his “favorite mistake” story from his Toyota days and how they created a “no-fault, no-blame culture.”

Other topics and questions:

  • More background about what you learned at Toyota
  • Hard for people to talk about mistakes, admitting they’re human
  • Blame vs. responsibility?
  • Toyota teaches that leaders have responsibility
  • Blame with punishment = “accountability”?
  • Punishment replaced with learning and improvement?
  • Hard on the process, not on the people
  • Mr. Yoshino’s mix up with the paint area (Episode #30)
  • My episode about the nearly lost episodes (Episode #16)
  • Mistakes about mistakes?
  • Mistakes at the distillery
  • Mistakes vs. discoveries?
  • Whiskey transported in barrels – mistake or learning??

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