From: David Rivers
Norman, I am very interested in hearing what you've found on
Kaikaku (radical change), from Japan.
Sent: August 09, 2004
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.
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
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 Amazon.com. 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.
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
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.
How does this differs with Reengineering? Paradigm shift?
Sent: August 10, 2004
From: Norman Bodek
Sent: September 4, 2004
The subject of my earlier email was on Kaikaku The Power and Magic of
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,
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.
Solution Sales, Global Toyota Team