There are perhaps only three things we can and need to know with certainty: where we are, where we want to be, and by what means we should maneuver the unclear territory between here and there. And the rest is supposed to be somewhat unclear, because we cannot see into the future! The way from where we are to where we want to be next is a gray zone full of unforeseeable obstacles, problems, and issues that we can only discover along the way. The best we can do is to know the approach, the means, we can utilize for dealing with the unclear path to a new desired condition, not what the content and steps of our actions—the solutions—will be. — Mike Rother, Toyota Kata (2009), page 8
Mike Rother discovered during his research a fundamental pattern of behaviour and action among Toyota leaders that enables employees to combine their creativity with a scientific mindset. Mike asked himself how other companies could develop similar routines and mindsets, which eventually led to the so-called Starter Kata, the Improvement and Coaching Kata.
Since then, Scientific Thinking and developing habits became a core aspect in many recent books and studies. “The Toyota Way 2nd Edition“- By Jeffrey K. Liker, “Think Again” – By Adam Grant, “Atomic Habits” – By James Clear or “Routledge International Handbook of Ignorance Studies” – By Matthias Gross, to name a few.
With the growing awareness that we live in a fragile and complex world. The question is no longer whether we need to have the capacity to be more scientific and experiment with new ideas, but whether we can build sufficient capacity in time.
The Starter Kata are a timely and practical approach to increasing these capacities.