Somebody asked the question about the role of Kaikaku relative to Kaizen and that they understood the price and made minor changes, but what do you do about breakthrough changes. And that led to a long dialogue where different people had different opinions.

For example, somebody consulting in lean was described how he needed to use Kaikaku to get the significant changes where you change a real intent by you scream reset we lay out a hospital or a factory beautiful operation. And I get concerned about those discussions, and I’m going to explain why that concerns me. So, first of all, the public image is that you do Kaizen to get any Pimentel improvements. A lot of those improvements come from the team members.

It was a factory where hourly team members say through a suggestion system, and then you’ll get small changes and very gradually over time you get a little bit better and a little bit better. But there are limits to how far you can get without a radical breakthrough. The radical breakthrough can put you in a position to disrupt the whole market, so Clay Christensen talks about disruptive technologies that changed the game. And then you’re so far ahead of the competition that it takes a decade or more for them to catch up, or at least they can’t catch up while you have a patent. So Kaizen is thought of as having lots of minor incremental improvements.

This has led to the fact that we need a different word and a different methodology called Kaikaku. Interestingly, the turnpike PACU is not used within Toyota. So if we look at the definitions, Kaizen translates to change for the better, which could be significant, medium, or small.

Kaikaku is defined as reform or in a day, giving the impression of something more fundamental. Kaikaku, one can argue is a subset of Kaizen breakthroughs, are a type of Kaizen and medium grunt improvements or a type of cousin.