Kaikaku - 7th commandment
From: Norman Bodek
The 7th Commandment of Kaikaku from
Hirano is: "Problems give you a chance to use your brains."
Over 100 years ago
Frederick Taylor and Frank and Lillian Gilbreth's created Scientific Management and the
Division of Labor reversing the very nature of work. Prior to them workers had great
variability at work. People developed and practiced their skills. A carpenter building a
chair would pick out the wood, help design the product, cut the wood, carved the wood,
polished the wood, nailed it, stained it and might have presented it to the customer. Work
was filled with many creative opportunities. But with the Division of Labor workers now
only repeated over and over again the same process day after day. Work became boring and
repetitive. People were no longer fulfilled at work, no longer trusted to use their brains
to solve problems. Problem solving became the job of the supervisor and the manager.
Of course, Scientific Management allowed industry to become much more productive and
brought great wealth to Henry Ford and others. It enriched our lives at home and gave us
"deadly" lives at work.
Toyota and other Japanese companies, once again studying early American industry, changed
all of that and asked their workers to bring their "brains," to work. They went
back and studied Kodak's suggestion system and updated it. While the average American
company with a suggestion system received only one idea per worker every seven years,
Japanese companies were getting on the average two ideas per worker per month. While we
looked at our workers as "Drones," the Japanese were creating a much more humane
working place, fulfilling people and also saving on the average over $3,000 per year per
worker from the workers own ideas.
Toyota's real power with Lean is Jidoka allowing the workers to stop the line and use
their brains to solve problems. Last week I was in Georgetown, Kentucky; visited the
Toyota plant and was told that the line stops 5000 times a day asking workers to solve
problems. Only around 300 of those stoppages affect the takt time but lost time is made up
before the end of the day.
Fortunately, the adoption of lean is also fostering Quick and Easy Kaizen and American
companies are starting to ask their workers for their ideas on how to solve problems in
their work area.
Dana Corporation for years has been receiving over two ideas per worker per month.
Technicolor has launched an idea process to tap into their workers and has been receiving
enormous rewards from it.
"Lean buying-in also was bolstered by good relations with rank-and-file workers at
the plant, as evidenced by the facility's subsequent ability to post impressive gains in
employee involvement. In addition to the 40 hr of annual training per employee since 1997,
the unit has averaged 21 kaizen ideas submitted per employee since 1997. Annual savings
per employee is $4285, at a cost of $204 per kaizen idea since 1997. The idea
implementation rate is 95%, and safety incidents declined 86% since 1999. Incident rate
has fallen 48% since 2002, and the lost-time rate/hrs has dropped 60% since 2002. The
plant's successes have earned more than the Shingo award, as it has been recognized as a
Ford Q1 supplier, a Ford Full-Service Supplier, and a four-time recipient of the State of
Indiana Quality Improvement Award."
Hirano is telling us if you want to be competitive and Lean you must allow all of your
workers to be involved in problem solving activities. I recommend that you have people
both involved in quality circles activities and also in Quick and Easy Kaizen. In fact,
the word Kaizen really means small ideas from all workers. We use Kaizen in "Kaizen
Blitz," but Kaikaku is really a Kaizen Blitz - a radical change. You must do both.
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