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What is KAIZEN?

Every company out there has it’s own business process.

That means, each company has its own way of getting the job done, communicating, and interacting with customers. It’s the different processes involved which make your company run smoothly to deliver the work or service that you provide. A business process is well thought of – made to make sure it works well for everyone involved in the organization. No business organization can ever say IT DOES NOT have a business process. That’s just unthinkable.

But just like everything else, a business process isn’t perfect the first time it’s used. To accomplish an organization’s goal, the business process must always have some room to improve. It can always be made more efficient, more effective, more cost effective, and even more simple to save more time. And this is where Kaizen comes in…

What is KAIZEN?

KAIZEN came to American shores when automobile executives went to Japan to check on Toyota manufacturing plants. They wanted to see how the company could produce so much vehicles after the second world war, which had badly affected other companies. They then discovered the amazing philosophy of KAIZEN, which was behind all the successful production. The philosophy just simply pushed for the motivation of workers to change processes, procedures, and themselves for the better.

Instead of punishing employees for errors, Toyota encouraged workers to stop production at any time to fix a problem or provide suggestions to management about how to reduce waste and improve efficiency. As a result, Toyota’s factories experienced fewer costly errors and benefitted from consistent improvement.

Upon seeing this, the American executives brought this game changing philosophy into their shores, vastly improving and revolutionazing various industries and their business processes.

KAIZEN means change (KAI) to become good (ZEN)

It is based on the belief that continuous, gradual improvement would eventually lead to a greater and better change in the long run. When Kaizen is implemented in an organization, they circumvent the upheaval, unrest, and mistakes that often go hand – in – hand with major innovation. It’s only fitting that the Japanese word kaizen translates to “good change.”

While Kaizen is typically applied to industrial processes like supply chain and logistics, it’s useful in the context of personal productivity and work habits, too. The Kaizen philosophy stresses that it is less about hustle and working more, but is more about thoughtful adjustments, accepting failure, and applying learnings in order to work better.

 

Here are the Basic Principles of the Kaizen approach:

KAIZEN is all about improvement and being more effective, which will then eventually lead to overall satisfaction. Here is the simple approach to practice it in relation to business organizations:

  • Standardizing a process so that it’s repeatable and organized
  • Focusing on measurability and evaluating progress using data
  • Comparing results against your requirements (did you deliver on your promise?)
  • Innovating new and better ways to achieve similar results
  • Responding to changing circumstance and evolving your methods over time

Remember Kaizen is a philosophy, and not a rigid system that needs to be followed down to a tee. The beauty of it is it’s flexible and adaptable to your working style, preferences, and personality. You can do a trial and error of the practices depending on what resonates well with you. Some people like to measure the little achievements they accomplish every day for a certain skill that they need to improve. Others opt for a more systemized or measurable way of following the Kaizen philosophy. It’s really up to the company or person practicing it.

 

We believe that there’s always room for improvement for everything that is out there. Kaizen is the perfect philosophy that helps people take a look at the picture as whole and see parts of it that can improve and make that picture even better. This is all without being pressured to deliver at a specific time because improvement is continuous and Kaizen respects the time needed for something to be the best version of itself.

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