Kaizen is a Japanese word that means “good change” (Kai = change, Zen = good), and it refers to the constant improvement of all organisational functions at all levels.
Kaizen is a business technique in which all employees collaborate to build a strong culture of continuous improvement.
Kaizen’s underlying premise is simple: you can always make or do things better, even if they appear to work well at the time. In addition, all issues should be viewed as chances for improvement.
It doesn’t matter in Kaizen whether the change happens all at once or over time, whether it’s great or small, as long as it’s for the better.
Kaizen has its origins in lean manufacturing and the Toyota Way principles. Kaizen is now widely used as a competitive strategy pillar in many successful businesses across the world.
You will inevitably fall behind if you do not improve and grow (both as an individual and as an organisation).
BENEFITS OF IMPLEMENTING KAIZEN PHILOSOPHY
The following are the most common benefits of a properly implemented Kaizen:
- A more favourable working environment and a safer working environment
- Employee retention and commitment are improved.
- Improved problem-solving abilities and teamwork qualities
- Increased customer satisfaction and competitiveness
- Reduced waste and excessive effort
- Productivity gains and overall firm success
Kaizen is a concept that any leader or HR manager should be familiar with. So, let’s take a closer look at the Kaizen philosophy and process, as well as how you may incorporate Kaizen into your company’s culture, employee mindset, and work schedule.
KAIZEN-CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT WITHOUT EXCUSE
Kaizen is a mindset that encourages all employees to continue to grow personally and professionally, to look for ways to improve, and then to bring about a good chance in the workplace.
In addition, Kaizen as a strategy provides a collection of tools and ideas for developing a real action plan for achieving specified goals. It’s a step-by-step method to implement change in a company.
The ten concepts that underpin the Kaizen philosophy are as follows:
- Throw out your preconceived notions.
- Consider how to do it rather than why it can’t be done, then take action.
- Instead of making excuses or attempting to rationalise the past, begin by challenging current and best practices.
- If something isn’t right or you’ve made a mistake, fix it right away.
- Don’t aim for perfection; instead, get started right immediately, even if you’re only halfway there.
- Prior to capital, there must be creativity. Instead of spending money on Kaizen, use your common sense.
- When you are confronted with adversity, you learn wisdom.
- To find the core reason, ask “why” five times (the “5-whys approach”).
- Seek out the wisdom of many people rather than just one person’s understanding.
- Never stop improving since kaizen is an ongoing process.
A person can earn the title of “Zenkai” if their firm follows the Kaizen concept (an ancient master famous for not wasting even a drop of water). The title is given to someone who has made a significant contribution to the company’s effective installation and execution of Kaizen.
HOW TO IMPLEMENT KAIZEN PHILOSOPHY?
Because Kaizen is such a versatile approach, many various adaptations and success stories from the world’s greatest firms can be found. Fortunately, Kaizen is a flexible approach that can be tailored to a company’s goals, work style, and culture. Here are some options for getting started with Kaizen:
Organize a Kaizen event with your staff to generate as many ideas as possible for improving your company.
Choose the most visible issue in your company and try to solve it using the PDCA cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Act).
Begin by determining where your company generates the greatest waste, whether it’s in supplies, the manufacturing process, or the everyday usage of employees’ time.
Introduce the Zenkai quarterly title for a person who makes the most significant contribution to your organization’s improvement.
Start a coaching programme in your company so that employees may immediately develop a growth mindset and begin to mould the Kaizen culture.