Step by step
The Japanese word kaizen 改善 means “change for better”, with inherent meaning of either “continuous” or “philosophy” in Japanese dictionaries and in everyday use. The word refers to any improvement, one-time or continuous, large or small, in the same sense as the English word “improvement”. Yet Japan is famous for many things especially their methodology of management. After reading Creating a Kaizen Culture, by Jon Miller, Mike Wroblewski, and Jaime Villafuerte, I understand “respect for people”. Mike thinks that transforming a company’s culture is far more about growth and technical maturity.
Innovation is a high risk, high cost, seismic shift. And there is an interesting metaphor saying that It is like running your first marathon with no training. I can highly relate to this idea. The first ever Paja session i had was about innovation. And I started with questions like how do you think of innovation from a business perspective. Nearly everyone said that innovation is a great thing which could lead a company to achieve next-level growth. After that I told few examples of companies suffered from innovation and introduced Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) to the participants. I said that it is undeniable that innovation is a good thing but it could not happen in a short time, there are plenty of issues need to consider before launching a innovation product. Mike explained it in a better way “Kaizen involves small progressive steps aligned with a purpose”.
Some of the key objectives of the Kaizen philosophy include the elimination of waste, quality control, just-in-time delivery, standardized work, and the use of efficient equipment. The book addresses some issues with why Toyota need not be such a unique Lean organization, or that only the Japanese can be lean. This is valuable discussion for skeptical organizations. So the general purpose of Kaizen is to make changes little by little over a period of time to create improvements within a company. Which many entrepreneurs think opposite, they try to make a huge improvements by one single thing, which could be a new product, service or even hiring a new experienced manager. improvements can come from any employee at any time. Kaizen also means employee should strive for the company’s success.
KAIZEN should be implemented to all the companies as their culture. It emphasizes not only quality which needs gradual improvement toward perfection, but also how every employees should have a stake in the company’s success. The basic principle of KAIZEN is a continuous engagement and continuous improvement of performance, products, and services. Finally, Creating a kaizen culture is best treated as a both a long-term objective and the means to solving practical short-term challenges. A thorough commitment to the PDCA (plan-do-check-adjust) cycle of improvement and learning is needed.