30 Jan Use this Japanese philosophy of Kaizen to develop a more positive, daily routine…
via Quartz by Melody Wilding
In the years following World War II, American auto executives visited Toyota manufacturing plants in Japan to examine how the company was able to produce so many vehicles so quickly. They discovered a humanizing philosophy driving the manufacturer’s innovation, one that intrinsically motivated workers to change process, procedures, and themselves for the better.
Instead of punishing employees for errors, Toyota encouraged workers to stop production at any time to fix a problem or provide suggestions to management about how to reduce waste and improve efficiency. As a result, Toyota’s factories experienced fewer costly errors and benefitted from consistent improvement. This philosophy, Kaizen, is one that the American executives took home and has since revolutionized multiple industries, from healthcare to software development.
Put simply, the Kaizen approach is based on the belief that continuous, incremental improvement adds up to substantial change over time. When teams or groups implement Kaizen, they circumvent the upheaval, unrest, and mistakes that often go hand-in-hand with major innovation. It’s fitting that the Japanese word kaizen translates to “good change.”
While Kaizen is typically applied to industrial processes like supply chain and logistics, it’s useful in the context of personal productivity and work habits, too. Think of it as an antidote to every “go big or go home” motivational trope you’ve seen in your newsfeed. Kaizen is less about hustle and working more, and more about thoughtful adjustments, accepting failure, and applying learnings in order to work better…
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