Kaizen should be at the heart of every business and organisation’s operating model. After all, who could deny the appeal of Émile Coué’s* affirmation:
‘Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.’
But personal affirmations on their own, they don’t create change.
Kaizen does. It translates from the Japanese as change (kai) for the good (zen). And it comes with action. So, what is the origin of this big idea, and how can you implement Kaizen in your organisation?
Waste is a bad thing. So, any wise manager will do well to eliminate it. You just need to know where to look. One of the many contributions of Taiichi Ohno and his Toyota Production System (TPS) was to catalogue 7 Wastes that we need to eliminate.
The 7 Wastes are now a fundamental part of the concept of lean thinking; whether applied to manufacturing, services, or public administration. By understanding them, you can make just about any process more efficient.