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Kaikaku discussions

4th commandment

From: Norman Bodek
Sent: October 18, 2004

Dear Group,

I do hope you find this weekly email of value. Please let me know what you think. A month ago I received a translation of a recent book by Hiroyuki Hirano which I intend to publish in the coming year. Included in the book is a discussion of the 10 Commandments of Kaikaku which I enjoy sharing with you.

The following is the 4th Commandment: " Don't seek perfection. A 50% implementation rate is fine as long as it is done on the spot."

Change for most people is very difficult. Culturally we have been taught to be careful and not make mistakes. At school your grades were lowered when you made a mistake, but ironically we only learn from our mistakes. (Our teaching system needs a Kaikaku). The trick is to allow mistakes, to let people learn from their mistakes, to get immediately to the root causes of those mistakes so that they do not occur again and to build in a system that prevents disastrous mistakes from happening. Jidoka which I hope you all are implementing recognizes that mistakes will be made but empowers people to stop working, to stop their team members from working to attack the cause of the mistake. As I visited Toyota in Japan many times, I saw the line stopped frequently, for only a minute or two, but what wonderful power and respect this gives to the average worker - the power to stop their fellow workers from working. It also tells people that you are serious about continuous improvement and not allowing a defect to be passed onto the customer.

When we seek perfection, we are over cautious about making mistakes and probably over invest in technology. Also, I like the idea of Hirano's that 50% implementation rate is fine as long as it is done on the spot. Dr. Shingo's favorite expression was "Do it!" You must learn how to break through your own resistance to change.

When I was young, around five years old. I asked my brother to teach me how to swim. He did. He picked me up and threw me into the deep water. I had no choice - I learned to swim. I am sure that if he had asked me if I wanted to me thrown into the deep water, I would have fearfully said, "No."

But, in retrospect, I am grateful for now I enjoy swimming.
So, overcome your fear and resistance to change and "Do it!"

Best regards,

Norman Bodek



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