What is Kaizen?
Kaizen is a Japanese philosophy that targets continuous improvement in all aspects of life.
The beauty of this philosophy is that it can be applied on a personal level, in a job place (even TOYOTA uses it!), and in communities.
Kaizen’s Continuous Cycle:
This continuous cycle of growth and success is composed of 7 steps.
1. Identify an opportunity
The first step in any plan is to always identify the chance you would like to take.
Starting a healthy lifestyle, investing in a job, or taking a new step in whichever aspect of your life you would like to change…
2. Analyze the process
Determine all the ways possible that would allow you to reach the opportunity you seek.
Describe them thoroughly, and recognize all their pros and cons.
You can always ask someone with better experience in the field for more professional insights.
3. Develop an optimal solution
Pick from your list of proposed methods, the optimal one to reach your goal.
Keep in mind that the most favorable solution may be a combination of bits and pieces of several proposed methods.
4. Implement the solution
Get started! Take the first step! Don’t just plan and sit around; this won’t take you anywhere!
Your implementation should be solid and consistent.
If it is a change of habit, it could be as little as 1 minute per day. If you stick to this schedule, you’ll start improving, be more disciplined, and then you can automatically start increasing the time and be more successful..
5. Study the results
Pause, lay back, and monitor the results. Do they meet your expectations?
Analyze and come up with a solid conclusion on the progress.
6. Standardize the solution
Based on your conclusion, determine how you can tweek the plan to get better results or to maintain your pace in progressing.
7. Plan for the future
Anticipate possible step-backs or opportunities that could help you reach your goal, and plan ahead of time.
Always be ready – as much as possible – for whatever the future may hold!
Keys to Success in Kaizen
Practice the PAUSE!
One of the key features of Kaizen is to regularly get time away from work to think about how your work could be done better.
Wasted time, wasted energy, especially on objectives that are tangential to work like unnecessary meetings or writing status reports that never get read…
Key Benefits of Kaizen
OWNERSHIP and AUTHORITY over your work!
By integrating this philosophy to your personal and work life, you will feel more engaged and passionate about whatever you do, from start to finish, every single day!
Ranim Daw, MS in Cell & Molecular Biology
American University of Beirut
February 24, 2017