Kaizen is a business philosophy popularized in Japan in the 1950s. Its methodologies have become a global management guide that enthuses Startups and Multinational conglomerates alike. What’s more, the Kaizen tactics are so versatile it can also be used in personal development.

What is Kaizen

The two character Kanji – 改(Kai)善(zen), the same in writing and meaning in both Japanese and Chinese, literally translate to ‘modify / improve’ 改 and ‘good’ 善. Kaizen embodies a way of thinking that focuses on achieving continuous and small improvements.

How to apply Kaizen in business and in life

According to the Kaizen way, there are 5 steps that are important for continuous improvement:

  1. Identify challenges in the existing process
  2. Prioritize challenges with main target in mind and set measurable Kaizen goals
  3. Identify and finely breakdown tasks to small steps, that are necessary to achieve these goals
  4. Implement and evaluate new process through out the Kaizen methodology
  5. Once proven effective, establish new process in everyday practice

Compared with the practice of goal setting (think New Year Resolutions), often associated with a Western origin, the Asian Kaizen philosophy emphasizes on the process, and establishing effective systems to achieve one’s goals.

Whether you are a business aiming to attain a 20% gain in revenue or an individual striving to realize your Olympic dream, the Kaizen system empowers you to find better ways to do things. If something is not working, stop and re-assess, how can you use Kaizen methods for a better outcome?

Learn more about the Kaizen philosophy from other .Asia websites

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