Kaizen Rules – 1 & 2

This week my plan is to blog about all things kaizen. I personally believe kaizen is the key to long term success – both professionally and personally.

Often times we associate the word kaizen with “kaizen events” which are short improvement initiatives that last around 5 working days. For example, we may run a 5S kaizen event one week and TPM kaizen event the next.

However, in addition to these specific events, kaizen is a philosophy for how you operate on a day by day, hour by hour basis.

Along these lines, I will be posting 2 specific “kaizen rules” each day this week which I hope brings you closer to the kaizen way of life. And for the kaizen veterans I hope you will share your wisdom with others by posting your thoughts in the comments.

So without further delay let’s get to the first set of rules.

Rule 1: Challenge the status quo

Rigid, dare I even say conventional, thinking can be deadly. A true kaizen mindset requires us to think beyond common sense. If something is broken we must fix it. However, even if something is working we must study it to see how it can be even better.

Rule 2: Think of how to do it instead of why it can’t be done

I recently blogged on this very topic of why a concrete head can be so detrimental to improvement.

We must enter a “how it can be done” mindset instead of why it cannot be done mindset. The former is essential if we are to make any serious, long lasting change.

This manner of thinking must also be taught to our associates. If everyone adopts this “how to” mindset change can occur rapidly.

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