What is Kaizen?

Last week I had this bright idea of combining my business improvement background with my career coaching. Shock, horror and disbelief! Okay, it wasn't that dramatic but a few eyebrows were raised. So, I've decided to blog about the principle of Kaizen today.

Kaizen is a Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement. It can also be translated into "change for the better" The word is comprised of two parts: Kai - change, and Zen - good. A Kaizen event is usually implemented on an existing business process and it simply means a team comes together and collects data, analyzes and brainstorms solutions then implements. It can be any activity that improves the functioning of a process. It is a short term event and solutions can be implemented quickly. It's really all about continuous improvement, and I learned this when I worked as a Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt.

Where is this usually implemented? Think, manufacturing, mining, banking and retail industries. Basically anywhere some sort of process exists. Now, I'm proposing that we all start running Kaizen events on our own lives. My business improvement friends might say that this is impossible because THERE IS NO PROCESS AND NO DATA. Well, if you think about it, your daily routine can be seen as a process, and what you do can be seen as qualitative data. So how can you improve? You make small changes for the better. Here are a few examples:

1. Wake up 10 minutes earlier to read a book or meditate

2. Drink water

3. Throw away 1 thing you don't need

4. Plan your day

5. Stop screen time an hour before you sleep

6. Exercise for 10 minutes

What does this have to do with your career? Technically nothing but when you work on yourself, you will be in a better frame of mind when you work on your career. There is soooo much more I can write on this subject but I have taken up enough of your time today. I hope that you will practice the principle of Kaizen, even if it's just one day in a week. Small victories lead to big victories.

Until next time, stay safe!

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