What is Yokoten Learning?

“Yokoten” is a Japanese word that translates to “spreading improvement.” It is a process for adapting and replicating known best practices across an organization.

At Toyota, we might have used “yokoten” in the following sentence: “This improvement saved the team member a significant amount of time on the Camry production line. Let’s see if we can yokoten it to the Avalon line.” It is important to note that yokoten is not “copy and paste”, but rather an experimental method to see if an proven improvement will work in a similar area.

The purpose of Yokoten Learning is to share and spread the message of continuous improvement to as broad of an audience as possible. While it is highly applicable in manufacturing industries, it is not limited to them. Yokoten applies to anywhere work is done, from the office to health care to the home.