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How to be more successful in everything: 7 kaizen principles to increase efficiency

Date: June 18, 2024 Time: 08:26:56

It can be difficult to recover and begin completing large tasks. The accumulated tasks scare you with their volume, and you literally give up and the desire arises to postpone things for later. And the mountain of pending responsibilities accumulates, becoming a true Everest, difficult to conquer.

Modern methods of improving labor productivity offer many options for solving emerging problems. Some were compiled based on Asian philosophical movements. We take the best trends from there. One of them is the Japanese concept of efficiency, Kaizen.

What does the technique include? Why can it be easily used to put things in order and even in personal relationships? Let’s figure it out.

Photo: Maxxa_Satori/istockphoto.com

What is Kaizen?

In Japanese, kaizen means “change for the better.” The concept is based on the continuous improvement of production processes and the development of supporting business plans to reduce the time required to complete operations.

Kaizen is similar to the well-known “baby steps” theory. The concept implies a continuous process of action, without delays or excuses. Tasks are not accumulated, but rather completed to the best of their ability. Although not immediately or completely, but with some frequency.

Schematically, the concept resembles a plan written on paper. Every day you follow the steps written on it. Operations that must be performed gradually become a habit and are performed “automatically.” And each new small step brings significant results.

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History of the method

Kaizen was invented at the end of World War II in Japan as a method to increase employee productivity in companies. After historic disasters, the country was going through an economic crisis. It is necessary to increase competitiveness on the world stage.

In 1949, a Japanese scientist and professor at the University of Tokyo, Kaoru Ishikawa, invented a method of quality management in production. It became a breakthrough and the whole world found out about it. It is now used in many large companies. One of the first to implement the technique was the Toyota automobile corporation.

Ishikawa realized that to increase demand for a product it is necessary to work with its properties. Make them the most profitable compared to others. The professor developed a quality control system that he implemented at all stages of production, from design departments to workshops. That is, each employee of the company became a participant in the process and was able to contribute to its development.

Photo: Parradee Kietsirikul/istockphoto.com

Basic principles of the Kaizen concept

The philosophy, which later also formed the basis of the QC quality control methodology, had lean manufacturing as its basic idea. It is based on eliminating processes that lead to losses. In kaizen it is important to optimize the work of each employee and focus on the needs of the consumer.

To achieve this, it was necessary to create a single, coherent complex where both employee motivation and customer satisfaction were maintained.

These principles helped bring the technique to the top and make it one of the most popular.

1. Customer focus

Any business must begin with an analysis of customer needs.

2. Continuous improvement

The technique suggests that you should never stop there.

3. Teamwork

All employees must work together toward a common goal and be involved in the process.

4. Supportive relationships

Each employee is valued and respected on the team. A pleasant microclimate in the workplace ensures a well-coordinated organization and increases productivity.

5. Personal discipline and self-control

One of the most important elements that ensure success in any business. According to the concept, everyone is capable of developing the discipline.

6. Brainstorming groups

The company organizes groups that include employees of different levels to exchange ideas and skills.

7. Delegation of authority

Each employee improves within their area of ​​expertise and has a designated scope of authority.

Photo: Parradee Kietsirikul/istockphoto.com

Where can the Kaizen technique be applied?

The introduction of the Japanese concept has already been appreciated by many companies for more than 50 years. In addition to the aforementioned Toyota corporation, kaizen has been used successfully to improve productivity processes at Siemens.

Russian productions have recently turned to Japanese methods. But companies such as KAMAZ, GAZ and Baltika are already actively implementing it.

In business, kaizen aims to improve technological and management processes, improve the quality of goods and services, develop corporate culture, increase labor productivity, strengthen leadership and teamwork.

However, the concept is also quite applicable in personal life. Helps combat bad habits and improve physical and psychological health.

Kaizen can become an incentive to rethink your life goals and your attitude towards yourself. It will allow you to develop emotional intelligence and resistance to stress by treating emerging problems not as difficulties, but as an opportunity to improve your skills and your project.

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Disadvantages of the system.

The Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement teaches people structure and planning, encouraging them to start new things in small steps to avoid feeling overwhelmed. This approach promotes gradual progress and the consolidation of new skills and work systems.

business psychologist, clinical psychologist “Doctor Anikina’s Clinic”

“Nowadays, this approach is becoming the only correct one to get out of the endless notifications and focus on the task. From the point of view of organizational management, the implementation of kaizen principles provides continuous advantages, because this philosophy teaches constant self-improvement and openness to feedback.”

However, for people who prefer rapid and radical change, this approach may seem too slow and unambitious.

Disadvantages of Kaizen

1. Speed ​​of change. It takes some time to wait for the result. Kaizen can slow down the implementation of necessary changes by focusing too much on small improvements.

2. Not applicable to a rapidly developing economy. There is a risk that the emphasis on incremental improvements could reduce the focus on radical innovation and breakthroughs.

3. Human factor. Often, negative aspects of employees interfere with company processes: laziness, dishonesty, greed.

Photo: mapo/istockphoto.com

Psychological aspect of kaizen

From a psychological perspective, kaizen supports the development of patience, discipline, and attention to detail. It teaches you to value the process of achieving a goal, and not just the goal itself. This helps improve your emotional state and reduce stress levels.

But it’s important not to simply implement changes in small steps. More preventive work needs to be done with employee concerns. That is, not only give tasks, but explain the upcoming changes in an accessible way.

Another important point that is especially highlighted in the kaizen concept is employee motivation. According to the concept, each employee of the company knows exactly the volume of obligations assigned to him and the cost of his work. As well as the consequences that will arise from non-compliance. Transparency of processes in an organization makes employees more loyal.

By the way, the problem is omnipresent in modern companies. Managers often do not bother to explain production processes. Hence, an uninformed employee can make mistakes and not show the best side of themselves.

Photo: leuviah/istockphoto.com

At the same time, many managers are really smart and have enormous knowledge. But they often don’t realize that for ordinary employees, information about the company outside of the processes for which they are responsible may not be interesting.

For example, a pharmacist can work in a pharmacy for 20 years and not worry at all about the share of sales in gross income. For the manager, this is a daily report, and when the sales plan appears, it must show why it is done, how the display in the pharmacy will change, how the employee’s bonus for decorating the shelves will change, etc. .

Therefore, the dedication of employees to the company’s affairs at all levels is a very important step. It will help you determine the employee’s role in this process and understand his or her values ​​and those of the company. This reasonable and environmentally friendly approach seems time-consuming to many, but it gives good results.

Therefore, kaizen is a powerful tool for personal growth and business process improvement. It teaches us that even the smallest steps can lead to significant changes in life and work. This approach can be adapted to different industries and personality types, making it a universal tool for achieving success.

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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