The Harada Method: The World's Best Method to Develop People

The Harada Method is an effective tool for developing the highly-skilled workers that companies need. Your instructor is Norman Bodek, the author and practitioner who introduced Lean to U.S. manufacturing. This course meshes perfectly with Lean, Six Sigma, Hoshin Planning, and other continuous improvement efforts, and gives real substance to what Toyota calls "Respect for People."

Editor's Note: This training course by the late Norman Bodek from April 2, 2013, may be more than a decade old, but the messages included are still relevant today. This lengthy video was originally a paid training program costing $399 to $599. However, given its age, we have decided to make it freely available to our IW Intelligence members. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the video.

Your aspirations
  • Be a winner
  • Be a real leader
  • Be a great coach

Everyone can be successful in life. – Takashi Harada

Course details


In the global economy, the age of unskilled people doing repetitive and boring work is dying.  In the last few years, American manufacturing has lost six million jobs to off-shore labor.  The future of industry depends on producing high-end products using highly-skilled workers. The Harada Method is an effective tool for developing the highly-skilled workers that companies need.

  • Be a leader: The Harada Method takes the power of coaching and teaching great athletes into the workplace.  This method teaches you how to lead people to sharpen their skills, their mind, their body, and their spirit. When people have clear goals with strong purposes they can visualize becoming the best with everything falling into place.
  • Be a great coach: Every great athlete has a coach and every worker needs their manager to be their coach, bringing out the best that they are capable of being.  The essence of the Harada Method is what we call “self-reliance.” Self-reliance is the ability of each person to become highly skilled – to be the absolute best at some discipline. People who are self-reliant can be trusted to make responsible decisions for themselves and for the organization they work for. 

When you ask people, "what is your favorite day of the week?," almost everyone says Friday or Saturday.  Somehow we get excited about the weekend but not work.  With the Harada Method you can get excited about work too.   You get excited about work because you can envision your future success from your own effort.  Once you can clearly see your future, you will be excited to go to work, knowing you are on your way to reaching your fullest potential.

About the Harada Method

It takes the right tools to be a champion, and the Harada Method is a proven system for helping people achieve success. Takashi Harada was a track and field coach at the worst school in the most deprived neighborhood of Osaka, Japan.  Using his method, his students reached the pinnacle of success, winning 13 gold medals at the national track and field competitions.  They became the best athletes at their age level in all of Japan. His school went from the worst and became number one out of 380 schools for 12 years in a row.

See also: Catching Up with Mr. Productivity: Norman Bodek

How did Mr. Harada do it? He challenged the students to become winners.  He got them to believe in themselves. He got them to believe that in spite of all the odds against them that they could do it. Then he gave them the tools and training they needed to reach their goals.

Mr. Harada recognized that the principles used in sports would also bring success to companies. His innovative system has now been taught to over 60,000 people at 280 companies in Japan. It was selected by a group of teachers and senior managers at the Japan Management Association as the world’s best system to develop people to their fullest capabilities.

What you'll accomplish

Taking the Harada Method online training course will help you achieve success in your personal and professional life. You will learn how to use the Harada Tools to clarify your own goals and purposes. During the online training, you will:

  • Pick your own goal that is aligned with your vision and your company’s success.
  • Develop your own timeline for achieving your goal.
  • Create the necessary measures to monitor your progress.
  • Determine the real purpose and benefit to becoming a champion for yourself, your family and others.
  • Analyze your past successes to determine your strengths and ensure that you can repeat them.
  • Analyze your past failures to determine your weaknesses and create ways to eliminate them.
  • Write down 64 tasks/actions you need to reach your goal.
  • List 10 daily routines to establish new habits and break those past patterns that were limiting you.
  • Learn how to keep a daily diary to see that your tasks/actions are being done at the time scheduled.
  • Evaluate your daily performance to motivate yourself to stay on target.
  • Learn how to work with a coach to review and improve your daily progress.
  • Learn how to be an effective leader using the Harada Method
  • Learn how to set up a mentor/mentee process within your organization

At the end of the online training course, you will leave with the tools to achieve your individual goal as well as be a better leader and coach. The method can also be used to build a winning company. It meshes perfectly with Lean, Six Sigma, Hoshin Planning, and other continuous improvement efforts, and gives real substance to what Toyota calls “Respect for People.”

Key objectives

  1. Learn how to use a sports analogy and the Harada Tools to first pick a very powerful goal and then to write out your own plan, steps and measures to attain and monitor yourself achieving your goal.
  2. Learn how to excel at what you do and also to improve the quality of your leadership.
  3. Improve your discipline and create new routines and habits for your life.
  4. Develop highly-skilled, self-reliant employees.
  5. Overcome the eighth waste of lean – the underutilization of people’s talents – by putting all your employees on a path to reach their maximum potential.
  6. Use the Harada Tools to be a better leader, manager, mentor and coach.

Topic outline

  • Self-reliance – what it is and how it benefits you and your organization.
  • Pursuing success – determining what you want to achieve in your life/profession.
  • Setting goals – creating a clear vision of your future.
  • Understanding the purpose – increase your motivation by writing why you want to pursue your goals.
  • Servant leadership – why the most effective leaders are great supporters.
  • Analyzing past successes/failures – use your past to guide your future.
  • Anticipating future obstacles – preparing for and planning how to avoid problems.
  • Building an action plan – write out the steps you need to reach your goal.
  • Implementing the plan – set up each day to make progress.
  • Routines – sustain why the most effective changes come from building new habits.
  • Coaching/Mentoring – how to teach the Harada Method with a mentoring system so others can be successful.
  • Strokes – use praise to motivate people and build morale.

The Harada Method online training course is designed to teach you how to become more successful. Top executives, managers, supervisors, even new employees can all benefit from the tools of the Harada Method.

The only qualifications necessary are:

You want to bring the best out of yourself and/or your employeesYou care about long-term successYou are a leader of people or want to be in the futureInstructor

Norman Bodek was the president of PCS Inc., a publishing and consulting company in Vancouver, Washington. Norman, who passed away in 2020, was also an adjunct professor at Portland State University teaching a webinar called "The Best of Japanese Management."  In 1979, he started Productivity Inc. and Productivity Press and published over 250 books on management on productivity, quality, and Lean manufacturing. Norman is both a winner of the Shingo Prize and also a member of the IndustryWeek Manufacturing Hall of Fame. He is a frequent keynote speaker.