This book is a history that introduces lean to the United States. Mr. Bodek was the main driving force behind this. From that viewpoint, the book explains a lot about the events that unfolded and how or who performed which role. The book also offers an impressive overview of what Lean (Toyota Production System) and its applications. It also offers an overview of the major players and an approach to their character. The book does not offer a detailed assessment of the system of production. This is because Mr. Bodek offers references to other books published by his company and translated from Japanese. This offers the readers an insight to the works that they select (Bodek 34). The book also covers the main topics of the production system of Toyota and offers numerous implementation stories and examples. Mr.Bodek strongly suggests the application of this style. It also goes into the memoirs of the major players in during the process. It hits on Juran’s and Deming’s effect in Japan. There were also interesting stories of industrial trips to Japan. There were also intriguing business stories like the challenges faced by taking advantage of the publishing opportunities to present the original writing to the new readers.
Any reader looking for a quick and easy read about the history of taking lean to the United States and the main underpinnings of the procedure to include a good explanation of the main components that have anecdotes, this book is highly commendable. For any reader who wants to understand lean and find other references of use to him, this book is also commendable. This book is also commendable for readers who have an interest in getting some knowledge and why some things may have taken place. Norman Bodek is a genius and a master when it comes to sharing information about the manufacturing of lean (Bodek 38). Norman had a vision to have seen Japan’s potential and the people in Toyota during those years. Norman is an ideal inspiration and a hero of the contemporary manufacturing. This book also shares some vast personal experiences with the creators of Lean in Japan like Shingo and Ohno.
The account of the author’s wisdom and experiences within the book will benefit numerous companies and people who are trying to get to the grips of the process of transformation within the globe. This book has also revealed numerous mysteries that surround the original creators of Lean and it also indicates how the fundamental common sense and mere thoughts of people can bring astounding outcomes in any organization. This book offers an inspiration for those people who seek simplicity and truth of the production system of Toyota. It offers the necessary knowledge for such people (Bodek 39).
The best sections to read were those that dealt with a peculiar Shigeo Shingo. Kaikaku is not a book that tells the reader how to turn an organization around. This is an informal narrative that offers a history that flows smoothly concerning how Norman brought Shingo and Ohno to the United States. However, the poor values of production like missed changes between normal text and block quote, incomprehensible font changes and sloppy edits proved to be quite diverting. For the first time readers of Mr. Bodek’s books, they ought not to judge the quality of products that their former employers may have put out. One interesting article is that has a reference from David Veech (Bodek 58). Toyota always confident of putting their ideas to the public domain because the western people always want to put into practice their ideas and it is obvious that they do not always select the right ideas.
Once the readers get the amazing stereogram of the book’s front cover, they discover that the book splendidly documents a history of Lean techniques and concepts that a number of people have just started to comprehend. The stereogram personifies the things that may not always seem as they appear. One often gets a deeper recognition of the notion when understood in its original context. Kaikaku introduces the historical perception to Lean. Norman’s book is filled with irony, humor and simple writing that combines these writing styles to develop a unique outlook of the origins of American perception in the modern world. Interestingly enough, the readers learn that the author’s personal inquisitiveness and vision are liable for documenting and revealing the body of knowledge that the readers identify as Lean (Bodek, 134). Without the author taking personal commitment and risks to establishing new methods of doing things, the American manufacturing industry perhaps would be nowhere today. Perhaps if it was not for the author, then it would have been someone else like him. However, for the role that the author played, his tenacity, foresight and speed in bringing Japanese masters teachings of Lean to the reader’s attention, the audience most definitely owes Norman a debt of gratitude. This is an amazing book to read that I would recommend for readers who have been involved with Lean, or with an interest of the origins.
Bodek, Norman. Kaikaku: The Power and Magic of Lean ; a Study in Knowledge Transfer. Vancouver, Wash: PCS Press, 2004. Print.