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Improve the Kaizen Way (11/26) A2Z 2018


I admire the way Japanese have developed interesting techniques for regular things that others find overwhelming. I learnt a couple of them. Recently, I came across furoshiki. It is a type of traditional Japanese technique that uses a square wrapping cloth to gift wrap, transport etc. It is interesting to learn to make cute little purses from these squares. But more about that in some other post.


I was introduced to ‘Kaizen’ by a book – One Small Step Can Change Your Life the Kaizen Way by Robert Maurer. You can check the book at this click. https://amzn.to/2JWUU3L for English and https://amzn.to/2qL2plt for Hindi.


After reading this book I was inspired to research more on the subject. Now I am a follower of this Japanese concept and would gladly recommend it to others. It means "change for better", with inherent meaning of either "continuous" or "philosophy" in Japanese dictionaries. The word refers to any improvement, one-time or continuous, large, or small, in the same sense as the English word "improvement".


Kaizen focuses on continual improvement throughout all aspects of life. Big changes or big results are possible using small steps of Kaizen. We can adopt good habits using the concept of Kaizen. It is a process that improves a habit by using very small steps and gradually, but surely, these small steps will lead to big changes.

Kaizen steps circumvent around the brain’s response to fear of change and eases adopting any change naturally.

By asking small, gentle questions, we keep the fight-or-flight response in the ‘off’ position. By taking steps so tiny that they seem trivial or even laughable, you sail past obstacles that have stopped you before.


The objective of Kaizen is to improve productivity, reduce waste, eliminate unnecessary hard work and humanize the workplace. For those, who would like to know more about the use of Kaizen in workplace, I am summarizing the basic principles below for your reference.

  • Principle 1. Everything can work better. Everything is changeable – improvable.

  • Principle 2. If something is broken repair it or improve it, otherwise remove it.

  • Principle 3. Involve and empower the basic worker, of a manufacturing unit or factory, to suggest, make and implement changes.

  • Principle 4. Improvement is continuous process – it never ends.

  • Principle 5. Renovate, innovate. Old methods survive only if proven efficient.

  • Principle 6. Be economical.

  • Principle 7. Empower everyone to take part in problem-solving.

  • Principle 8. Before deciding, ask “why” five times: so your analysis is 5 levels deep.

  • Principle 9. Get information and opinions from multiple people. Focus on team work.

  • Principle 10. Improvement can never stop.


Author's Note: Please read and share my post with others too.

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