From: Norman Bodek
Sent: November 22, 2004
I am now working on Hiroyuki Hirano's new book, trying to get it out as soon as
possible. I have published hundreds of books in the past, many great ones by Dr.
Shingo, Ohno, Akao, and other masters. I am sure that this book will rank with those
other master works as it covers in such detail the real power and essence of Lean, 5S,
TPM, etc. Hopefully, it will become a bible for you, for managers, especially
leaders of Lean, to fully understand and appreciate these marvelous tools and to know
exactly how to apply them.
I also read recently an excellent article by Bob Emiliani and David Stec on the two
pillars of Lean: continuous improvement using the Lean tools and "Respect for
Humanity." I hope the readers of these emails will understand that both
pillars must be applied. You know or are learning the Lean tools; you should not
neglect the latter pillar, opening all workers to their infinite creative capacity.
Respect and pride comes to people when they are valued for their "brains," for
their problem solving abilities not only their "brawn," their willingness to
commandment of Kaikaku from Hiroyuki Hirano is: "Ten person's ideas are better than
one person's knowledge."
This is a "key" to the success of Lean and to fully understand
the power that comes from Lean activities - "people working in teams focusing on
continuous improvement." In the past, it was always up to the leader to
decide, to direct, to inspire others to work. It follows a certain misguided
philosophy that since "I am the leader, the boss, I have been successful in the past
and I make more money then you, then you should always take my advice and guidance."
This might have been somewhat true in the past, but it surely will not
last in this highly competitive world with new products offered almost every day into the
marketplace and with International competition coming from India, China and
elsewhere. It is an age when we must harness everyone's creative talents.
The Japanese understood this many years ago when they started Quality Circle activities,
something I highly recommend for every company to do. Quality Circles did two
things: it gave the worker very powerful quality tools to learn and apply and asked people
in small group activities to participate in solving problems that affected their own work
area. It recognized that these workers understood their jobs and that they did have
the intelligence and the ability to solve quality problems. Prior to this the
quality manager keep and solely applied the quality tools: pareto diagram, check sheet,
control charts, brainstorming, scatter diagram, etc. No matter how good the quality
managers were they were never able to solve all of the quality problems.
Recently, I took a six minute video of a process with around a dozen workers working on
the line. Each day managers and engineers individually walk out onto the
factory floor as if with "binders on" and are unable to see the process as it
actually is. It is natural like a "fish not seeing that it is in
water." If you want real improvement power you take that video into a meeting
room and ask a team of people to look, identify the wastes and come up with
recommendations to eliminate that waste. I have done this around six times in the
past month. It is a very powerful exercise. At first, most people are
reluctant to say anything but once someone, "brakes the ice," and speaks and an
immediate interaction takes place and dozens of new ideas come out to identify the wastes
and then fresh ideas are offered to eliminate the wastes.
When many people come up with ideas then many people become empowered to "do
something about it." When one person comes up with and idea and asks others to
"do something," the others might do it but they do not really have
"ownership of the that idea." They have to "do it," for they are
paid to work but when they can participate their ideas, they now have
"ownership," of the ideas and their hearts will follow.
Next week will be the 10th Commandment of Kaikaku. If you would like I would like to
share more of Hirano's teaching with you from his new book while I am editing and