What is Kaizen?
What does Kaizen, a Japanese method of production excellence and industrial efficiency have to do with self improvement? What is it, anyhow?
Kaizen - What is it?
Kaizen began with the "continuous improvement" theories of efficiency expert W. Edwards Deming in the 30s and 40s. After World War II, these ideas were picked up by the Japanese and developed into Kaizen . a method for creating higher quality products more efficiently through a series of many small and continuous changes. This process of continual refinement is perfect for self-improvement, as Robert Maurer explains in his book "One Small Step Change Your Life: "
"Your brain is programmed to resist change, but by taking a series of small steps, you can effectively rewire your nervous system so that is does the following:
- Frees you from creative blocks,
- Controls the fight or flight reaction, and
- Creates new connections between neurons so that the brain enthusiastically takes over the process of change and you progress rapidly towards your goal."
Kaizen is an excellent process for those who have a hard time accomplishing major changes that are necessary in their lives, like quitting smoking or a diet change. The kaizen method for stopping smoking might be to cease smoking in your car, as the first step toward this goal. Then you could switch to a brand with less nicotine, taking fewer smoke breaks at work, and so on.
An important part of the kaizen concept is asking "small questions." In factories, this meant not asking big, elusive questions such as "What are you going to do to meet the company budget goals for this year?" Those huge questions generate more fear than creativity. A more kaizen question might be, "What little things can do in the department to cut expenses (or improve quality)?" This approach was found to be far more productive. Kaizen fails when you try to eat the whole elephant in one bite.
For purposes of self
improvement, this means asking small suggestive questions of yourself, like, "What could I do to free up five minutes for meditation?" or "What small change could I make if I built up my relationships today?" Small questions tend to dispel the fear and intimidation that come with taking on the whole issue up front.
Small questions, along with small, comfortable changes is the first, important principle of kaizen. The second is to make the process a continual one. Just imagine where you would be now if you had consciously made a series of small, positive changes in your life every week ever the past few years. Even better, imagine where you’ll be a few years from now, if you begin this kaizen process today.
"A journey of a thousand leagues begins with the first step. " - Lao Tzu
What is Kaizen? That journey of improvement, taken one step at a time.
What is Kaizen? Kaizen methodology is a continuous process of making changes, monitoring the results, then adjusting.
What is Kaizen? Kaizen methodology is a tool that allows leaders to focus resources and employees on process improvement.
What is Kaizen? Kaizen methodology is knowing that the wisdom of the many is better than the brilliance of the one.
What is Kaizen? Kaizen methodology is a system for communicating ideas throughout the organization, encouraging everyone to seek out and take advantage of new opportunities, removing the barriers to information flow.Related posts:
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