As we head into the last push of 2019, it’s easy for motivation and energy levels to sag. I know I’m looking forward to the end of the year break, but we’ve still got some weeks to go, so I thought this might be the perfect time to reconsider Kaizen.
As you’ve read in previous newsletters, Kaizen is one of KDZA’s core values and is a lovely Japanese phrase that means “change for the better”. In essence, it’s a belief that everything can be improved over time through regular change, even if those changes are only small. It’s the regularity that matters and that adds up to something bigger and better than what there was at the start.
In business, this translates to positive outcomes like improved product quality, lower costs, more efficient workflows, happier customers and higher profits.
You can read more about Kaizen here, but essentially the philosophy is broken up into 3 pillars:
Daily Kaizen looks at how we can develop our people and use these skills to sustain improvements in the company. It’s good for tackling small problems before they become big issues and for sustaining improvements.
Breakthrough Kaizen explores how we can shift paradigms and improve processes. It’s big picture thinking that leads to radical change and reform.
Leaders’ Kaizen considers the individuals who are responsible for leading a team or group of people. It considers the behaviours and management systems needed to direct a team and to identify waste and improve efficiencies in the best way possible.
The challenge for all of us as we head to year-end is to explore our current mindsets to our work and to adjust our thinking to one of ‘continuous improvement’. I encourage you to keep Kaizen front of mind and continuously ask yourself “How can I do this better?”. Then implement your findings, no matter how small.