Agile Factory

Lean Manufacturing - APICS discussion

Kaikaku discussions

1st commandment

From: David Rivers
Sent: August 09, 2004

Norman, I am very interested in hearing what you've found on Kaikaku (radical change), from Japan.
I say this because I've had the pleasure of reading the book "Kaikaku" The Power and magic of lean, A study in knowledge transfer.

My "review"...

Once getting the fascinating stereogram on the front cover of Kaikaku, we find that the book marvelously documents a history of Lean concepts and techniques many of us have only just begun to understand. The stereogram by the way, personifies what I found to be one of the book's basic tenants:
things are not always as they seem.
One often gains a deeper understanding of the concept when understood in the context of its origin. Kaikaku brings this historical perspective to Lean.
With humor, irony and just plain good writing, Norman' book mixes it all together to bring us a unique view of the origins of the American perspective of Lean today.
Interestingly, we learn that Norman's personal vision and inquisitiveness are responsible in no small part for revealing and documenting the body of knowledge known as Lean. Without Norman's risk taking and personal commitment to finding better ways to do things I'm not sure where American manufacturing would be today. For sure, if it wasn't Norman it would have been someone else. However for the roll Norman played, for his speed, insight, foresight and tenacity in bringing the teaching's of the Japanese Masters of Lean to our attention.we owe him a debt of gratitude.
Kaikaku, a wonderful book, I recommend to everyone involved with Lean, or with interest in its origins.
Thanks Norman.

From: Norman Bodek
Sent: August 10, 2004

RE: [leansig] QuestionDear David,

I do thank you for that great review of my book. Please do post it on And also I thank you for wanting me to share with you and others the new information I discovered on Kaikaku. I will be consulting and running Quick and Easy workshops these next two weeks but as soon as I return I will begin a dialog with you. What I did find was the Ten Commandments of Kaikaku.

There are two principle words for me Kaizen and Kaikaku:

Kaizen means continuous improvement through employee involvement - getting all employees involved through their improvement ideas. This I write about in my book The Idea Generator - Quick and Easy Kaizen.

Kaikaku means 'radical change,' 'transformation of the mind,' 'working with others to achieve radical change,' and bringing new and vital energy to your organization. It also means innovation. The Kaizen Blitz is a Kaikaku but we should not be limited to only that event.

In my dialog with you, in two weeks, I will tell you the source of my information.

The first commandment is "Throw out the traditional concept of manufacturing methods."

Think about what this means to you, if you agree and what you can do to follow this advice. Also consider that most people if not all are fearful of change and this commandment asks to not only change the small things (Kaizen) but to find ways to radically change, to shake up everything, and to actually start to consciously create chaos.

When we ran the first Kaizen Blitz at Jake Brake (We called it back then 'Five Days and One Night), fifty people moved 50 machines into cells in one night. The result was pure chaos, behind schedule, etc. and hundreds of problems arose but after a few months Jake Brake was way ahead, way ahead and since that famous moment thousands of these Kaizen Blitz's have been run all over the world. I am sure creating lots of chaos.

Lets hear from you.

Best regards,
Norman Bodek

From: Natz.Villaronte
Sent: August 10, 2004

How does this differs with Reengineering? Paradigm shift?

From: Norman Bodek
Sent: September 4, 2004

The subject of my earlier email was on Kaikaku The Power and Magic of Lean.
I wanted to share with the list members the 10 Commandments of Kaikaku.
Your question: "How does this differ with Reengineering? Paradigm shift?"
This is a very good question and in many ways reengineeering is very similar to Kaikaku but the results have been radically different. Reengineering assumes the current process is irrelevant - it doesn't work, it's broke, forget it. Start over. With Kaikaku we do make radical change but "we don't throw out the baby with the bath water!" Reengineering has resulted in "blood baths," cutting layers of managers, becoming virtual companies, cutting out many of the vital parts of the organization, outsourcing - sending work to China and India, assuming other companies with specific skill sets can do work better than us, laying off thousands of workers, spending huge amounts of money on new technologies, etc. The result in the short term has often been greater profits, but greater wealth only for a few stockholders and senior officers while many other members of the organization have suffered. Kaikaku is also radical change but it is a building process not a tear down and elimination process. And we don't spend money to do Kaikaku. We don't lay off thousands of workers. We look at every worker as a true member of company with valuable creative ideas.
Kaikaku looks at the long term.

Our first introduction to Kaikaku in America is the Kaizen Blitz which radically changes the factory floor, the process. Many of us are doing value stream mapping which has come from Kaikaku as developed at Toyota. But Kaizen Blitz is only one step in the Kaikaku process of change.

I would hope to continue to talk about Kaizen and Kaikaku and specificallythe 10 commandments of Kaikaku.

Thank you Natz,
Norman Bodek

From: Dave L.Simpson
Sent: September 28, 2004


I very much enjoyed the article you referenced from David Veech. Some time ago, in one of my discussions with a senior Toyota executive, he mentioned that Toyota is not afraid to put their ideas into the public domain essentially because "western minds only want to implement one or two of the ideas, and we are absolutely certain that they will not choose the right ones."

This article goes a long way to pointing out that the key initiative is with people - all others will fail without it. It is crucial to establish a learning culture. If you ask a Toyota executive the basic foundations of the Toyota Way, they say "Respect for People" and "Continuous Improvement".
All other countermeasures are derived from these two.

I would very much like to hear the 10 commandments for Kaikaku, along with a brief explanation of each. My personal belief is that evolutionary lean models will not be enough to gain competitive advantage in the near future - that companies must have a model that allows for radical change - kaikaku. I'd like to know what is the current thinking for accomplishing this.


Dave Simpson,
Solution Sales, Global Toyota Team