(1 minute read)
Many of us are familiar with the term Kaizen, which translates as change (kai) for the good (zen).
Kaizen is based upon a philosophical belief that everything can be improved. Continued small or incremental changes can lead to more substantial change over the longer term.
Due to these steady improvements, employees are more accepting of this model of change, versus radical upheavals in processes or practises within an organisation.
The Kaizen philosophy encourages all team members to identify any deficiencies or gaps in business processes or activities. All individuals, at any level, are encouraged to suggest areas where improvements can/should occur.
Kaizen aims for improvements in productivity, effectiveness, efficiency, and safety.
Other benefits of adopting a Kaizen approach include:
- Improved employee satisfaction
- Less wastage
- Greater staff retention
- Improved teamwork & collaboration
- Greater customer satisfaction
While the Kaizen philosophy was initially adopted to improve Japanese manufacturing processes, its simple methodology allows it to be adapted to many working or team environments.
A simple adoption strategy, on a personal or business level, is to step back from the day-to-day routines that normally govern your life and look closely at areas or aspects where you’d like to make improvements.
List the steps, or actions you can take toward improvement, then implement these. (Use the Plan, Do, Check, Act Model to assess the effectiveness of any changes.)