Have you ever found it difficult to achieve your goals? Do you know how the Japanese do it? Have you heard of the method Kaizen? In this article we will talk a lot about this method and how you can apply it.
Kaizen [改善] is a Japanese philosophy and practice that promises to continually improve your projects, business, and even your health. A method that can be applied in any area of your life or work.
with the method kaizen you can increase your productivity and reduce the costs of your projects or companies. The word literally means to change for the better or improvement.
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How did the kaizen method come about?
It all started in World War II, where Japan suffered from several economic problems. With the need to renew the industry, companies began to improve together, thus creating kaizen that is not just a method but a lifestyle, philosophy and culture. One of those responsible was Professor Masaaki Imai.
Kaizen involves exactly all the company's employees, where everything is thought to improve productivity. Kaizen acts broadly to recognize and eliminate any waste existing in the company, prioritizing time as the biggest advantage against competition.
The results of this method are very visible, where the Japanese went from zero to the third largest economy in the world. When it comes to organization, productivity, work environment, dedication and practices, no one beats the Japanese.
What exactly is Kaizen for?
The concept and its origin is very industrial, but basically the objective of kaizen is to reduce costs and increase productivity.
This method can also help improve quality, increase customer satisfaction, increase safety, and reduce waste. Masaaki Imai says that collective work must prevail over individual work, one of the great keys to kaizen.
This method can also help to improve quality, increase customer satisfaction, generate more safety and reduce waste. Masaaki Imai, says that collective work must prevail over the individual, one of the great keys to kaizen.
Other benefits involve a good relationship between the company's employees, better communication and morale among everyone involved, from customers to employees. The application of the kaizen method can be used not only in companies but in all areas of life. We can see Japan's progress thanks to the kaizen culture.
Perhaps if all Brazilians followed the kaizen culture, the country could be much more advanced in economics, health, safety, education and morale. This method involves unity and also prioritizing people over yourself. Something that is quite widespread in Japanese culture. Kaizen will improve your life, be it personal, family, social or work.
Kaizen principles and concepts
In kaizen it is always possible to do the best. There will always be ways to improve the company or individual. The sentences below represent some thoughts of this philosophy:
- Today better than yesterday, tomorrow better than today!
- Improving is not expensive;
- Changes happen anywhere;
- Be transparent in what you do;
- Pay attention to where things actually happen;
- Build product quality first;
- Don't get stuck in the past;
- Don't be negative;
- Don't chase perfection;
- Don't leave for tomorrow what can be done today;
These phrases are basic principles that one should keep in mind when applying kaizen. Several Japanese proverbs and sayings also reflect this culture. Of course, kaizen goes far beyond all that, so much so that there are gigantic books and complete courses that teach the method. Still, there are still many things to talk about, like the 5s`s.
We also recommend reading:
- How to better manage your time and produce more?
- Japan and the Asian Tigers
- Work in Japanese - Understand the differences and meanings
The 5s's are concepts that act as the foundation:
- seiton: sense of organization of the material necessary for the production of something;
- Shitsuke: refers to discipline, determination, honor and uprightness of character;
- Seiri: concept that implies the distinction between necessary and not necessary things;
- Sixo: is connected with cleaning;
- seiketsu: concept related to hygiene;
This subject is so complex and simple at the same time that I don't even know what to write about. You need to research deeply how to apply the method in your life. In summary, the improvement process can work as follows:
- Identify the opportunity;
- Analyze the process;
- Develop an ideal solution;
- Implement the solution;
- Study the results;
- Standardize the solution;