LONDON – In 2013, Japanese manufacturing giant Toyota made a decision. It was a major donor to The Food Bank For New York City, the largest anti-hunger charity in the US. But rather than offering money, it decided instead to offer “kaizen,” the Japanese word for “continuous improvement.” Put simply, it offered its time and expertise in a bid to speed up and improve the charity’s performance of basic tasks. The results of Toyota’s efficiency drive were dramatic. The New York Times reported that the wait time for dinner at the charity’s soup kitchens was cut from 90 minutes to 18; the time volunteers spent packing boxes of food in some warehouses was cut from 3 minutes to 11 seconds. The move formed part of a growing trend towards private companies offering their time and consultancy skills to support their financial donations, and four years on US bank JP Morgan has adopted a similar approach in the UK. For three weeks in June, it sent 16 of its top-performing employees from offices as far-flung as Taguig City, Taipei, and Sydney to spend three weeks consulting on non-profit projects in east London as part of the bank’s “Service Corps,” a project… Read full this story
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