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Kaikaku: The Power and Magic of Lean Paperback – March, 2004

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Kaikaku: The Power and Magic of Lean + How to do Kaizen: A new path to innovation - Empowering everyone to be a problem solver + The Harada Method the Spirit of Self-Reliance
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Editorial Reviews


As you read, I hope that you will appreciate the years of learning that went into its’ creation -- Bill Kluck, President NWLEAN.net

I am enjoying the stories, I better appreciate your greatness as a thinker, a leader and as a human being. -- Don Dewar, Timely Tips for Teams, April 2004

I thank Norman for opening the door to Japan and bringing such valuable knowledge to the world. -- Jon Miller, President Gemba Research

The book is just great ... your sincerity and enthusiasm shine through every paragraph. The stories are fascinating. -- T.V. Suresh, President, Tao Consulting , Chenai, India

wonderful book ... I couldn't put it down. -- Alan G. Robinson, Co-author of Ideas Are Free and Corporate Creativity

About the Author

Norman Bodek
President of PCS Press Inc.
Co-authored with Bunji Tozawa The Idea Generator - Quick and Easy Kaizen

Started Productivity Inc. and Productivity Press

Published hundreds of books on Japanese management practices including the classics on Lean manufacturing by Dr. Shigeo Shingo, Taiichi Ohno, Dr.Ryuji Fukuda, Dr. Yoji Akao, Jeffrey Liker, Seiichi Nakajima, James Swartz, Yosuhiro Monden, and others.

Norman is a frequent keynote speaker at conferences and has written over 60 articles on Kaizen and Lean manufacturing.

He now consults with companies on harnessing the full creative power of their employees. One client went from 250 suggestions with 113 implemented in 2001 to 16,099 suggestions with 7,443 implemented in this last year.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: PCS Press; First Edition edition (March 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971243662
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971243668
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,201,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Norman Bodek, President PCS Inc.

In 1979, after working for 18 years with Data Processing companies, Norm Bodek started Productivity Inc. - Press by publishing a newsletter called PRODUCTIVITY. At the time, he said he knew virtually nothing about the subject and had spent very little time in manufacturing facilities. But, he quickly became fascinated with the subject and went to Japan to discover the processes that was making Japan the world leaders in quality improvement and productivity growth.

Even though on his first visit to Japan he didn't know a single person or speak Japanese, he has since, in the last 31 years, gone to Japan 80 times, visited more than 250 plants and published more than 100 Japanese management books in English, and over 150 other management books. As a fortune cookie once told him, "You have the talent to discover the talent in others." Mr. Bodek said his claim to fame is that he found amazing tools, techniques and new thoughts that have revolutionized the world of manufacturing. He has met Dr. W. Edwards Deming, Dr. Joseph Juran, Phil Crosby, Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa, Dr. Joji Akao, Mr. Taiichi Ohno, Dr. Shigeo Shingo and many other great manufacturing masters and published many of their books in English.

Each person he met gave him a new perspective on continuous improvement. Mr. Bodek has lead over 25 study missions to Japan and was one of the first to find and publish books, training materials and run conferences and seminars on TPS, SMED, CEDAC, quality control circles, 5 S, visual factory, TPM, VSM, Kaizen Blitz, cell design, poka-yoke, lean accounting, Andon, Hoshin Kanri, Kanban, and Quick and Easy Kaizen.

Mr. Bodek, who was once called "Mr. Productivity" by Industry Week Magazine, and "Mr. Lean" by Quality Progress Magazine, said his most powerful discovery was the way Toyota and other Japanese companies opened the infinite creative potential often lying dormant inside every single worker.

Most recently, he worked with Gulfstream Corporation, a private jet company, where 1000 people that went from 16-implemented ideas in February 2005 to close to 40,000 in 2011, and resulting each year in annually savings of over $2 million. Why every company in America is not doing this is a mystery. When you unlock this hidden talent people become highly motivated and actually love to come to work," he said.

Mr. Bodek founded the Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence at Utah State University with Dr. Vern Buehler and is one of the few to be personally awarded the Shingo Prize. He also was inducted into Industry Week's Hall of Fame.

In the last 10 years, he has written hundred's of articles published in various magazines and journals and on management web sites. Norman has written seven books: "The Idea Generator - Quick and Easy Kaizen," and "The Idea Generator Workbook," co-authored with Bunji Tozawa, president of the HR Association in Japan, "Kaikaku the Power and Magic of Lean," Rebirth of American Industry, co-authored with William Waddell, and "All You Gotta Do Is Ask, co-authored with Chuck Yorke, How to Do Kaizen, co-authored with Bunji Tozawa and most recently "The Harada Method - the Spirit of Self-Reliance," co-authored with Takashi Harada.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Robert A. Drensek on May 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
I am a Lean Practioner and 6 Sigma Black Belt. The advertisement for the book lead me to beleive that it was something different. I enjoyed and learned from the book.

What the book was to me is a personal history of the introduction of lean to the US. Mr. Bodek was a key and instrumental force in doing so. From that perspective the book fills in a lot of gaps of how things happened and who played what role. The book also gives a great overview of what Lean (Toyota Production System, TPS) is and how it is applied, and who the key players were/are and an insight to their personalities.

The book is not a detailed examination of the production system. If you are looking for that, Mr. Bodek gives references to other books published by his company translated from the original Japanese. This gives you insight to those works and which to chose from. This, in and of itself, is worth the price of this book.

The book does cover the major topics of the TPS and gives plenty of examples and implementation stories. The stories are great in themsleves, and a great insight to the way of Japanese management. Mr. Bodek is a strong proponent of that style. It also goes into some biographies of the key players in the process. It hits on Demings' and Juran's impact in Japan.

The war stories of the industrial touring trips to Japan were interesting. The problems faced by jumping in to the publishing opportunities to present the original works to a new audience were facinating business stories.

The biggest AHA moment for me was the discussion on Quick and Easy Kaizen, or the Japanese implementation of a sugggestion system. Radically different from any I've seen in the US outside of Honda and Toyota.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Tony Corrigan on April 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
Norman Bodek is a master and genius when it comes to sharing information about Lean Manufacturing. I just finished reading Kaikaku and must praise and congratulate Norman for his vision to have seen the potential in Japan and the people in Toyota all those years ago. Norman truly is an inspiration and unsung hero of modern manufacturing and this book shares some great personal experiences with the original creators of Lean in Japan such as Ohno and Shingo, to name just two.
This account of his experiences and the wisdom shared within the book (Kaikaku) will benefit the many people and companies who are attempting to get to grips with the lean tranformation process all over the world. This book has unveiled many of the mysteries surrounding the original creators of Lean and shows how basic common sense and simple thinking by everyone can create miraclulous results in any company.
May those who seek the truth and simplicity of the Toyota Production System be inspired with the knowledge shared in this marvelous book.
Tony Corrigan
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. Husman on January 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
I don't know why my original review disappeared, but it had gotten 1 useful vote.

I got this book after having read lots of books published by Mr. Bodek's Productivity Press. Although this book was not what I expected, I still found it to be an enjoyable, autobiographical narrative. The sections dealing with an eccentric Shigeo Shingo were the best. Kaikaku is not a book that tells you how to turn your company around; it is an informal, easy-going history of how Norman brought Ohno and Shingo to the US.

However, the poor production values (sloppy edits, inexplicable font changes, missed changes between block quote and normal text) were distracting. My warning to readers is that if this is the first book you ever read by Mr. Bodek, don't use this to judge the quality of other products put out by his former employer, Productivity Press.
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By R. Swartz on June 18, 2010
Format: Paperback
Kaikaku, the power and magic of lean is an extraordinary book full of history, storytelling and inspiration. Of the many things I learned from this book, I will touch on a few learning's that I feel had the biggest impact on me. My favorite `ah ha' moment came from the chapter titled, `My Mental Transformation' regarding the importance of quality.(111) I enjoyed learning about quality control from the perspective of Dr. Armand V. Feigenbaum who strove to move away from a focus on technical methods of quality control to quality control as a business method. The idea of viewing quality from an administrative point of view and taking into account human relations as an issue in quality control activities was a shift in focus that I found refreshing and profound. People play a key role in implementing quality control as well as JIT and lean systems and I feel this book in general and this chapter in particular did a beautiful job emphasizing this point.

Another key lesson that I took away from the book is the importance of making mistakes. This message is repeated many times throughout the book, often as narrative from one of Normans many life adventures. We learn from our mistakes and should not be ashamed or embarrassed by them, rather we have the ability to turn our mistakes into opportunities to learn and opportunities to share our learning with others. One of my favorite antidotes on this topic revolved around Norman hosting Mr. Shingo at a conference and eating his banana before a big presentation where Mr. Shingo intended on using it. It was a great story.

The book also emphasized the idea that employees are a valuable asset that are underutilized in many organizations.
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