What is Kaizen?
Kaizen is the practice of continuous improvement. Kaizen was originally introduced to the West by Masaaki Imai in his book Kaizen: The Key to Japan’s Competitive Success in 1986. Today kaizen is recognized worldwide as an important pillar of an organization’s long-term competitive strategy. Kaizen is continuous improvement that is based on certain guiding principles:
- Good processes bring good results
- Go see for yourself to grasp the current situation
- Speak with data, manage by facts
- Take action to contain and correct root causes of problems
- Work as a team
- Kaizen is everybody’s business
- And much more!
One of the most notable features of kaizen is that big results come from many small changes accumulated over time. However this has been misunderstood to mean that kaizen equals small changes. In fact, kaizen means everyone involved in making improvements. While the majority of changes may be small, the greatest impact may be kaizens that are led by senior management as transformational projects, or by cross-functional teams as kaizen events.
KAI = CHANGE
ZEN = GOOD
"CHANGE FOR THE BETTER"
Kaizen = Continuous Improvement
...by Everybody! Everyday! Everywhere!
Kaizen Institute Consulting Group
Tel: +31 (0) 73 700 3440
Europe / Middle East / Africa
Zug 6300 Switzerland
Tel: +41 (0) 41 725 42 80
Fax: +41 (0) 41 725 42 89
North / Latin America
7137 East Rancho Vista Drive B11
Scottsdale, AZ 85251 USA
Tel: +1 888 464 3622
Fax: +1 480 320 3479
Kabuto-cho Dai-ichi Bldg, 3F
5-1 Nihonbashi Kabuto-cho
Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-0026
Tel: +81 (0) 3 5847 8245
Fax: +81 (0) 3 5747 7901
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