Identity First Security
& The Toyota Way

by | Apr 13, 2022

Ideal Team

What Does the Ideal Team Look Like?

The Toyota Way is a book that describes the organizational structure and culture that made Toyota a global automotive leader. This book was originally published in 2003 when identity management was first coming on the scene. In this article, we take a look at principles used by Toyota and see how they can be leveraged in identity-first security.

Quality Is the Responsibility of the Team

“Every team member has the responsibility to stop the line every time they see something that is out of standard. That’s how we put the responsibility for quality in the hands of our team members.” Jeffrey K. Liker, The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World’s Greatest Manufacturer

This philosophy of operation did not happen overnight. This culture of continuous improvement and idea cultivation it was a challenge at first. There were cultural barriers in place that prevented the employees of this company from speaking their mind and sharing their opinions on how Toyota could improve.

In a meeting with a manufacturing plant, the leadership team asked an open question to the team “How can we improve?” There were no responses out of the hundreds of team members who undoubtedly had valuable ways Toyota could improve.

The next week the leadership team asked the same question, “how can we improve?” This time an employee had the courage to speak up, “we could use a better tea selection in the break room.” This might not have been the multi-million dollar idea the leadership team was looking for, but it was a foothold in the right direction. The following day the break room was stacked to the brim with the best tea and tea accessories they could find. The leadership team wanted to reinforce that ideas and suggestions will be treated with openness. They wanted a culture where team members did not hold back their ideas, and a suggestion for better tea led to multi-million dollars of improvements.

How does this apply to identity management?

This culture of idea cultivation needs to be central to an identity-first security program. When team members are actively looking for ways to improve both efficiencies and security this is where the truly effective programs blossom. Like an assembly line, identity management has many moving pieces and it is impossible for one person to see how it all works together. It is critical to have the people closest to identity functionality feel comfortable bringing their ideas to the table.

GCA Can Help

This is one of the key differentiators at GCA. Over the years, GCA has fostered an environment where the best ideas trickle to the top and make their way into the world-class identity programs we deliver. If you’re looking for ways to improve your IAM solution, schedule a 15-minute no-obligation workshop with us. We’ll discuss your IAM goals and walk through recommendations to achieve them.