"On behalf of Diablo Valley College's Hotel and Restaurant Management Program and its students, I would like to thank you for a magnificent keynote speech. Your words enhanced the evening's event, but most importantly enriched the lives of the students in attendance. You captured the minds and hearts of the students and they have not stopped commenting on what an inspiration you were to all of them. Again, thank you."
Leslie Styles, President
Diablo Valley College Hotel and Restaurant Management Program
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(posted: July 15th, 2009)
Think about a problem in your company that has been nagging at you for ages. Now, imagine being able to solve that problem-once and for all-with unprecedented results.
It can be done more easily than you'd think; say practitioners of Kaizen, a Japanese practice that has helped some of the most successful companies gain their competitive edge. In Japanese this word is pronounced 'kaizen'. KAI means 'change' or 'the action to correct' while ZEN means 'good.'
So quite literally Kaizen means a change for good or an action to correct something to make it better.
The power of Kaizen was harnessed specifically the Toyota Production System in the 1990s, leading the company to blaze ahead of its competitors in several key areas.
In a Harvard Business Review interview with Katsuaki Watanabe shares:
The root of the Toyota Way is to be dissatisfied with the status quo; you have to ask constantly, "Why are we doing this?"
Kaizen is a mindset; a way of approaching work so that involvement in innovation and creativity is encouraged. Making things better today than yesterday. It's about learning from what we did today to do things better tomorrow. It's about reducing the daily fire fighting that upsets our business priorities and consumes our resources daily. It is an environment where companies and individuals proactively work to improve processes.
This blog post was originally posted at www.linked2leadership.com.