Beyond Innovation – Kaikakumei


Kaikakumei Henkaku no Arashi   Kaikaku evolving...



Henkakunoarashi describes the steps necessary to evoke a Kaikakumei, a radical improvement/change in todays society. We would like to explain our thoughts using the r(evolutionary) way Toyotas Hybrid Synergy Drive is taking right now.

At first there was a brilliant mind that had the idea time had come to build hybrid engines. Once approved from mangement, a handful of people began to develop what today is known as HSD – Hybrid Synergy Drive, the combination of a conventional gas-engine with an electric motor and nickel-hydrid batteries. Energy can be recuperated with the help of a new adopted brake system. But we do not want to go too deep into technical details.

Kaikaku – the japanese way to innovate

The 10 commandements of Kaikaku, as developed by Hirano Hiroyuki:

1.Throw out the traditional concept of manufacturing methods.
2. Think about how the new method will work, not how it won’t work.
3. Don’t accept excuses; totally deny the status quo.
4. Don’t seek perfection; a 50% implementation rate is fine as long as it’s done on the spot.
5. Correct mistakes the moment they are found.
6. Don’t spend money on Kaikaku.
7. Problems give you a chance to use your brains.
8. Ask “Why” five times.
9. Ten person’s ideas are better than one person’s knowledge.
10. Kaikaku knows no limits.

(English translation taken from Norman Bodeks Book “Kaikaku: The Power and Magic of Lean”)

Status quo ante vs Status quo vs Status quo futur

At the status quo ante, nearly all vehicles circulating were equipped with a conventional gas/diesel engine. The engineers at Toyota have thrown away all traditional concepts of manufacturing methods. They had to think hard about how the new system would work, not about how it should not work! The status quo was totally denied, and no excuses were accepted. The first generation HSD was far from perfection, but as they followed Hirano Hiroyukis 10 commandements for Kaikaku (radical change/improvement), they accepted 50% of implementation rather than searching a long time for the perfect system. As Toyota is known as the company that says “No problem is a problem!”, mistakes and errors were welcome as an opportunity to learn and gather new knowledge in this unknown field of science. The 6. commandement for Kaikaku would be: “Don’t spend money on it”. For shure TMC has spent a lot of money for its HSD’s R&D, so… can we still speak of Kaikaku? We need to take a look at the team (and team’s money) that developed the HSD. Compared to the huge size of the company, its financial reserves and R&D engineering capabilities, we can talk about it as Kaikaku. The engineers had to ask themselfs 5 times why, maybe even more often as the project was evolving. One brilliant mind had the idea with HSD, but it was the knowledge of many excellent engineers that lead to the outcome. Kaikaku should know no limits. If you would have been in their position, would you have dealt with it? Would you have been able to achieve the HSD as we know it today?

Let’s look at the Status Quo. We have millions of Hybrids circulating right now. Is it just a Hype? What about the status quo futur? We think we can already see the beginning of a new radical change. As for revolutionary it is, we call it Kakumei (Revolution), but we associate it together with Kaikaku (Reform, Renovation, radical change/improvement).


The first Kanji in Kakumei means “reform, revolution” 革, and as the second Kanji 命 stands for Life (Inochi), it was only logical to add Kai 改 “change” to the two.
Kaikakumei stands for a “revolutionary change in life”, and imho it is the right term for describing the outcome of a kaikaku similar to that of the introduction of Hybrid Cars. Usually, Kaikaku stands always for something technical, but we wanted to go further and add another value. A Kaikaku should always be an aid to make life and society better. And as one Kaikaku follows another, just like Kaizen, we can see an evolution (shinka 進化) in it. We need Kaikaku in order to achieve Kaikakumei.

Kaikakumei describes the awareness of the Society that something has changed. Hybrids are now seen daily on our streets, people become aware of the benefits for themselfs and the nature. The world’s view is changing. At first, many laughed about HSD, but now even Mass Media are praising the System. Other manufacturers have noticed they will have to “jump on this train” before it is too late. It might be just a matter of a few more years in order to establish hybrid cars as status quo.

This radical change of human mindsets and at the same time improvement for our world is Kaikakumei – a Revolution trough Kaikaku. A huge step forward into a greener, and hopefully leaner future for our planet! We are experiencing a storm right now, what we meant to know about cars is being overthrown – this is the Henkaku no Arashi – the Storm of Change!

Team Arashi


© Arashi Innovation (developed by Takezawa & Spornberger, 2012-10-09)