How has Toyota stayed ahead of the pack?
The answer has a lot to do with another distinctive element of Toyota’s approach: defining innovation as an incremental process, in which the goal is not to make huge, sudden leaps but, rather, to make things better on a daily basis. (The principle is often known by its Japanese name, kaizen—continuous improvement.) Instead of trying to throw long touchdown passes, as it were, Toyota moves down the field by means of short and steady gains….. Cumulatively, every day, Toyota knows a little more, and does things a little better, than it did the day before.
– “The Open Secret of Success” , James Surowiecki, The New Yorker, May 12, 2008
I came across this good article on Toyota’s culture of excellence. It is applicable to all of us who want to get better. You become great not by making giant leaps but by continous, steady improvement over a long period of time. Day to day it might not seem like much progress. But over a long period of time your growth and increased powers are apparent.