Kaikaku: The Power and Magic of Lean by Norman Bodek: A Book Review

Kaikaku, like Kaizen, is a Japanese culture that approaches the condition of management in business organizations. Relatively directed towards the control on production operations, this system of development in business specifically manifests a great impact on how an organizations handles its resources and manages the people towards producing ample items for the market it intends to serve. Dependent on efficiency and effective functioning, this condition of production is often confident due to the application of local innovation pressed along with the radical movement that impresses the kind of operation undergone by the whole organization especially in times of schedule crunch when production procedures are expected to be expanded according to the demands of the market.

Basically, Bodek discusses on his book about the overall characteristic of the application of Kaikaku in actual business operations today. Noting that it is a process of radical change that involves the utilization of a limited time adjustments, it could be realized that Kaikaku features the assistance on organizations as they intend to take into account the need to readjust their system according to market demands. Understandably, such condition of immediate adjustment includes the overall turnaround of both the resources and the people working for the business. Nevertheless, because of the application of the Kaikaku movement and culture, the supposed shock that other business organizations suffer from immediate changes is being secured and avoided by those businesses that adhere to the said option of development.

In his description of the Kaikaku culture, Bodek intend to provide a vivid visual presentation on what the culture is about and how organizations have already reaped several benefits from it. It could be understood that such situation entails a great impact on how an organization’s production procedures advances through time as it embraces development and progress along with the changes that the market endures. Due to the massive turn in market because of the condition of the culture of globalization that is currently the trend in the modern system of trade and commercial industries, it could be realized how much impact change has on the production line of several organizations in the US. While it has been a common culture in Japan businesses already, Kaikaku production line operations have not been fully introduced to the American business sectors yet.

Honda and Toyota are among the most efficient organizations that Bodek primarily presented in his writing. He mentions that these two companies from Japan live through the Kaikaku culture and has benefited from such operation ever since they have been in the business. All through the years, Bodek notes the specific changing phases that these organizations have gone through. Starting during the lean times of production, both Honda and Toyota gained great benefits from being involved in a production operation that is concentrated on utilizing all the resources at a very efficient pace. As Honda and Toyota ages through the years of modern innovation and massive progress when it comes to serving what the market needs and demands for, the adaptation of the production departments have been considered rather dramatic and effective in many forms. Consistently handling the challenges in the face of market reshaping, both Toyota and Honda remain at the top of their game amidst the condition of handling massive competition from other huge organizations in their local industries and even abroad.

Accepting the condition of change that globalization brings about, organizations in Japan needed to approach the challenge in a way that it would not bring shock to the operations of the organizations that carry their country’s name in the international field of trade and exchange commerce. True, the scene of the international business continues to take different stages of operation especially when it comes to handling the massive impact of globalization on the matter. Relatively, it could be understood that somehow, such approach to production does not only create a sense of business confidence, but also a relative condition of presenting handling operational competence especially in responding to market demands.

Being a personal narrative of how he sees Kaikaku production culture is being applied in several organizations that he knows, Bodek was able to present this reading with a relative value that could help business managers understand the true value of lean production. Understandably, it could be realized that his long time involvement in providing effective reading materials on management procedures makes this reading more valuable when it comes to the measure of its applicability and practicality as a whole.

Considering his approach to writing and the references he used to present his ideas, it could be noted that this reading material is rather enjoyable especially in the manner by which Bodek pens about the conditions of change that the organizations he featured took in terms of the changes that occurred in the market. Nevertheless, the autobiographical accounts presented about the business organizations could be considered to be rather more effective if they were more in depth especially in noting how the changes occurred in a more detailed approach. The book failed to present the Kaikaku operation as the basic factor to which the organizations depended upon. Overall, the reading is helpful and informative especially for those who do not know what kaikaku is and thus might have an inkling to knowing how the procedure is actually applied in business operations at present. US-based companies featured in the book provide a great indication on how cultural implications in business could be applied by the general population of businesses all over the world who intend to operate according to excellence and efficiency.

Bodek, N. (2004). Kaikaku: The Power and Magic of Lean