The Idea of “Kaizen”

Striving for GrowthIf you read this blog long enough, you know I’m always looking for ways to improve myself, my actions, and my leadership. In the church I am blessed to pastor, I always want us to strive to be better at what God has called us to. Taking the time to step back, assess, and then plan for improvement is necessary if we ever hope to attain our goals in work and in life. The Japanese have a word for this. They call it “Kaizen”. In short, Kaizen seeks gradual self-improvement. This could impact not only a person but the workplace and management. In fact, Kaizen has it’s roots in the rebuilding of Japan after World War II and the new systems put in place by American William Deming in the Japanese Auto Industry. Deming’s process sought to increase productivity through a constant monitoring of the factors slowing down production. The result’s many years later are obvious. Since that time, others have implemented the ideas of Kaizen to their own businesses and personal lives.

I began thinking about this idea when I considered my own plan for personal growth. I’m always looking for ways to grow and finding new ways to track progress. Gradual improvement over time results in great change over the long haul. Sometimes we just cannot see it from the starting line. So as the Fall season beckons us again (Yes folks, the kids WILL be back in school in less than eight weeks!) have you considered your own Kaizen? What will it take for you to move forward in your goals and dreams in the coming year? Try these ideas for starters:
  • Write down some areas in your life you want to change and improve
  • What will it take to get you there?
  • Start small – Manageable goals will keep you motivated
  • Make a plan of execution – When will you make these changes?
  • What does the “victory” look like for these goals? How will you know you’ve achieved?
If you’ll take time to sharpen your focus, put together a simple plan, and give yourself execution deadlines you will be amazed at what you can achieve. The key is to start now so you can begin as soon as possible.
Good Luck! And Good Kaizen to you!
The Idea of “Kaizen”

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