Kaikaku - 2nd commandment

From: Norman Bodek

Kaizen is continuous improvement by empowering all employees in creative problem solving actitivies. It is small and incremental improvements. It is people involved in solving problems in their work area. These improvements normally do not cost much money. Kaizen can be done individually in what I call Quick and Easy Kaizen whereby the average employee submits in writing two improvement ideas per month that focuses on making their work easier and more interesting resulting in cost savings, safety and quality improvement, better throughput or pleasing their customers. (The average in Japan is two ideas per month per worker.) At Technicolor in Detroit with 1800 employees they went in 2001 from 250 suggestions with 113 implemented to over 17,000 suggestions with over 9,500 implemented in the last twelve months. In addition to individual activities, Kaizen activities are often conducted in teams such as quality control circles or self directed work teams. A simple but very powerful process is for groups of people to read books and ask each other, "How can we apply the information in the book in our company. Most people who do read management books on their own do very little with the new information, maybe afraid to make a mistake but put them into study teams and fantastic things can happen. Try it with my new book Kaikaku The Power and Magic of Lean. Kaizen is primarily small ideas but lots and lots of them. The trick is to do Kaizen every single day. Often we do Kaizen and then we stop and rest on our laurels. It is the analogy of the tortoise and the hare - Japan was light years behind America after World War II but they developed a methodology of continuous improvement, never stopping in their approach to eliminate quality defects and the other non-value adding wastes, while American companies, so far ahead of the Japanese fell asleep, like the rabbit, lost out on both quality and productivity improvement. We did make giant leaps in technology but did not make the small incremental improvements involving all employees. People should every day relentlessly reduce waste - it is challenging but it makes work fun.

Kaikaku is larger projects. Kaikaku means radical change, reform and also means innovation, normally beyond the scope of the average worker. Kaikaku is rethinking the very purpose of what you do. You could improve daily the process of making red wickets but maybe you should stop and make blue ones or get into an entirely different business. Many of you are doing Kaizen Blitz's or Value Stream Mapping changing the process and that is Kaikaku. But, Kaikaku is much greater.

I personally do not condemn sending work to India and China to save money. I do condemn doing it without creating more and better jobs for American workers just for short term profits. China and India are emerging markets and we should go there to build and sell them our products. But just to take advantage of the "cheap' labor and "hang" the American worker to "die" is not right. Just ask, "why is it that Toyota, Honda and Hyundai are able to come to America to open new plants while we close our plants to send the work to China?" And also ask, "how has Toyota been able to grow to the second largest automobile company in the world with profits larger than Toyota, Ford and Chrysler combined without having to lay off a single worker?"

We have much to do and focusing on Kaizen and Kaikaku will prove very helpful for you but as Dr. Shingo used to always say, "Do it!"

I do hope you will read and study in groups my two books: The Idea Generator Quick and Easy Kaizen and Kaikaku The Power and Magic of Lean. When you do Quick and Easy Kaizen and see how easy it really is, you will stop and say, "Why haven't we done this before?"


The first commandment was: "Throw out the traditional concept of manufacturing methods."
When we open a new plant the layout conforms to the product being built and our current manufacturing practices. We do make slight changes as time progresses but
rarely do we make radical changes unless forced to by competition or radical changes in technology, or something like Kaizen Blitz comes along. Mr. Hirano challenges us to continually think about ways to make radical changes before our competition does.

The second commandment is: "Think of how the new method will work; not how it won't work."

Too often people like to play the role of "Devil's advocate." Yes, you can always find fault with a new idea, always, for nothing is perfect and things always change. The challenge is to rise to the occasion and find the best way to do things today and do it - as Shingo would always say, "Do it!" And as the current chairman of Toyota, Mr. Okuda, says, "Failure to change is a vice.

I want everyone at Toyota to change and do not be an obstacle for others that want to change."

Yes, resistance to change is our enemy. In fact, the only way that you know if you are growing personally is that you feel this "resistance to change." Without that feeling of resistance, you are surely not growing.