"The Elegant Solution: Toyota's formula for mastering innovation" by Matthew May

Brian Gongol

There are lots of management books for sale. Many are full of silly charts and unnecessary jargon. A huge number are based on the unjustified bravado of a manager who lucked his or her way into the right place at the right time. "The Elegant Solution" is a welcome relief. It certainly contains some bravado, but it largely sticks to the philosophy that humility is better, and that there is always a better way to be found to do just about everything. The reader is likely to finish this book convinced (with good reason) that Toyota has developed a better way of doing business than most companies. If you want to understand how Toyota has become the world's biggest automaker -- and, more importantly, how the process that made it that way can be applied to other businesses and organizations, "The Elegant Solution" is a highly readable primer.

Verdict: The Toyota system is clearly an excellent one -- and "The Elegant Solution" is one of the best introductory books on the subject for a general audience. Highly recommended business reading.