Kaizen – Adding The Benefits of Continuous Improvements in Life

JT - You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. ~ Wayne Gretzky

It is coming up to the end of the quarter and during this time I reflect on the past quarter, discover where I am in each area of my life and start to decide where my focus is going to go in the Next Quarter. I have been doing this practice for about 10 years now and it aligns with the Kaizen Philosophy of Continuous Improvement.

As I start the process of reflection, I am discovering there are a few areas of my life where I am really content, however there are a number of others that I am ready to change and continue to apply Kaizen.

Subsequently, in this post I wanted to share with you –

  • What is Kaizen and Continuous Improvement?
  • 5 Benefits of Using Continuous Improvement, and
  • The 5S Method – A Simple Process for Continuous Improvement?

Let’s get started!

What is Kaizen and Continuous Improvement?

Basically Kaizen is the philosophy of continuous improvement. Some of the definitions of Kaizen include –

  • “a Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiency, etc.” ~ Google and Oxford Dictionaries
  • “Kaizen is the Japanese word for improvement” and “Simply means change for the better” ~ Wikipedia
  • “Kai = change, zen = good. Kaizen – change for the good” ~ Kanbanchi.com
  • “a Japanese set of ideas about business that encourages people to continue to improve their personal and professional life” ~ MacMillan Dictionary
  • “Kaizen is the practice of continuous improvement. Kaizen was originally introduced to the West by Masaaki ImaiKaizen Institute.
  • “Kaizen = Everyday Improvement + Everybody Improvement + Everywhere Improvement” ~ Maasaki Imai

It started out as a business philosophy, however a number of years back, I found it relates well to life and has a number of benefits also.

5 Benefits of Using Continuous Improvement

There are many benefits for continuous improvement in our personal and professional lives. Some of these include –

  • Improved quality of work and focus on quality over quantity (personal and professional life),
  • Increased personal effectiveness and focus on the things that matter (personal and professional life),
  • Helps you save money and limit waste / non-essentials (personal and professional life) and
  • Increased customer and client satisfaction (in professional life).
  • Increased engagement (personal and professional life).

What other benefits of continuous improvement can you think of? Feel free to share below.

The 5S Method – A Simple Way for Implementing Continuous Improvement in Life

The 5S Method is a simple way to apply continuous improvement in your life. Some questions that can help to discover if the 5S method would be useful include –

  • Could you be using and/or managing your resources (i.e. time and money) better?
  • Are there any situations, groups or people that drain your energy?

If you answered yes, to either of the above questions, the 5S method may be useful. Even though the 5S process is about good workplace organisation, it can be useful in life also. A brief outline of it follows –

Over to You…

I hope this post has given you some insight in to Kaizen and a simple way to start to develop continuous improvement in your life. If you would like to find out more about the Next 84 Days, a space where you can discover your focus for the next 84 days within your wild and precious life, click here.

If you are ready to take yourself on the adventure of getting to know yourself (your true Self), why not join the Toolkit? A place where I share tools, inspiration and ideas to live a courageous and openhearted life.

Reference –

Imai, M. (2012). Gemba Kaizen – A Commonsense Approach to a Continuous Improvement Strategy. New York, USA: McGraw Hill Education.

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