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Kaizen

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Small Improvements, Every Day

We all know the fable “The Tortoise and The Hare.”  The hare makes incredible bursts of progress and then stops to rest, but the tortoise slowly and methodically sticks to the plan, confident that consistency  is the key to succeeding, long-term.  The moral of the story, we learn, is that “slow and steady wins the race”.  It’s true in investing, it’s true in good barbecue, and it’s true in the game of life… why would this principle not apply to your organization?Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 2.31.15 PM

Of course, it does apply.  Fear not, however: this doesn’t mean that improvement has to be “boring” or slow-feeling.  When your team learns kaizen and starts making small improvements, every day, your organization begins to breathe again.  The excitement that existed in the company’s early days comes back, as people (many for the very first time in their lives)  take the process they work within every day, and improve it.  Kaizen utilizes the creativity of people at all levels to improve their own work.

If their minds and hearts come with them every morning,                  why are only people’s hands given work to do?                                            The hands can only do the work;                                               the mind can improve how the work is done.

Kaizen is simple: small improvements, every day.  We just find one tiny improvement, every day, and over time, those tiny improvements add up.  But they add up in more ways than one.  As the amount of struggle is reduced, team members realize that making these small improvements makes their life easier.  As the momentum builds, the ability to see these opportunities for improvement improves, and before anyone realizes it, you have a team of people who evolve from finger pointing and eye rolling, to problem solvers who not only know how to see problems for what they are, but have the self-confidence to correct these problems.  It’s not just “the boss” who is motivated to fix things anymore.  What results is a continually improving machine.  The tortoise would be proud.

Actions speak louder than words
We will spend as much time as possible performing real kaizen, to see results today. There is still no substitute for real-world, hands-on experience.

At the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  • Understand the basics of kaizen, and how a focus onScreen Shot 2014-04-14 at 4.41.19 PM small improvements creates exponential results
  • Understand the “how-to” of kaizen, so that you can start seeing improvements immediately
  • Evaluate kaizen, to recognize the difference between making improvements and “just changing things”
  • Understand why you may have experienced backsliding with improvements you made in the past, and how to prevent backsliding on your improvements going forward
  • Document your kaizen improvements in an energetic and dynamic way
  • The pros and cons of implementing a reward system for improvement suggestions
  • Create a plan for launching kaizen in your organization, with options from formal and structured, to wide-open and exciting, and everything in-between