The Road to Kaizen, the Road to Continuous Development

Kaizen is an effective philosophy that can be applied to just about every aspect of life. The Japanese word Kaizen translates directly into “improvement”, while in concept, it denotes continuous growth, development and improvement. It is a process of continuously trying out new things to keep improving one’s job or way of life.

Kaizen in the workplace empowers employees to monitor their own work and to point out areas of improvement that, in turn, would require small steps that would consequently produce tangible results. These tangible result-producing small steps will gradually result in big steps for actual development when put together.

The philosophy also improves teamwork, as employees also learn to look out for each other and to eventually consult and develop through the small units. Through the multitude of small steps generated from these units, more mud or waste, the enemy of productivity, would be eliminated.

Kaizen was first effectively implemented and used in the Toyota manufacturing plant in Japan, but it’s now available to all industries through the use of a comprehensive Kaizen presentation. The kaizen presentation is the ultimate material for training your employees to work the Kaizen way.

The concept of Kaizen is process change and improvement through a large number of small steps. This process is ultimately leading to a competitive advantage of an organisation. This means that an organisation will be more productive at the lower cost. At the same time, the primary job of managers will not be to find small improvements but to be focused on bigger changes.

The principle is the same for the whole company but is mostly referred to shop level of the company. The focus is given on making better things instead of making things better. Kaizen requires dedicated, empowered and multiskilling workforce that operates with a minimum of direction and approval mechanism.

The Kaizen requires an advanced stage of networking. Teams need to be formed in quickly, and they need to start with they work in short time. Networks of people who share common experiences and problems need to be encouraged. Mostly, these groups are creating new ideas and initiatives. Also, they overcome obstacles in a creative way.

The typical Kaizen presentation begins with the definition, characteristics and principles of the philosophy. It would effectively introduce Kaizen as a philosophy and then create and develop Kaizen awareness in your employees through a comprehensive discussion of its benefits and various types of its methodologies.

Furthermore, the typical Kaizen presentation aims to develop enough awareness that they would be able to understand what is required for a Kaizen event. And once they are able to understand these requirements, they are taught to gather the tools (which are mostly data). When this is in order, they can then try their hand at planning, supporting and participating in an actual Kaizen project.

A Kaizen presentation also typically includes concrete examples of Kaizen projects from which the employees can further learn from and perhaps base some of their plans. These examples are also provided to offer a chance of a discussion on the processes and results of decision-making between trainer and trainees.