In this issue I will take you through some brief strategies for applying Kaizen. But first we need to clarify what Kaizen actually is. Many of you have probably heard of this principle but surprisingly, not a lot of people have.
So what is Kaizen?
Kaizen is one of the core principles taught at our upcoming Born To Win seminar. During the seminar we will learn to apply Kaizen to every area of your life for continuous improvement.
When we talk about applying Kaizen, we are unleashing a power that is huge. The principle of Kaizen is responsible for most of Japan’s competitive edge in business. Unlike the western world, where we try and plan everything right from the start, Japan knew that there was a better way.
I mean, how could we possibly know all the obstacles and all the circumstances that could possibly occur when we strive for a goal or set out to improve our skills, fitness, relationships or anything else in life?
Well the truth is, we can’t. That’s why these long-term planning methods generally don’t work as well as we think they will in the beginning. Applying Kaizen is about incremental improvement, it’s like the saying goes “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it”. That saying has a lot more truth to it than you may think.
The Toyota company used the Kaizen principle to become one of the most successful and cost effective car companies in the world. Applying Kaizen is simply committing to one small increment of improvement consistently and that’s what the Toyota company did. They applied it to everyone from the CEO to the production line workers.
Every employee was instructed to take notice of several things that could be improved every single day. They would then work on improving that area. The area of improvement was often so small that it was seemingly unnoticeable but over time it gathered momentum. All the tiny improvements created a snowball effect and eventually led to massive improvements.
So simply put, Kaizen can be translated into ‘continuous improvement’. Imagine if every day you applied Kaizen and committed to one small improvement every single day. Imagine what your life would be like a week from now, a month, a year, ten years. You would have a revolution and it would all happen with what seems to be very little effort.
How could applying Kaizen create improvement that’s seemingly effortless?
When you commit to changing something big, like radically altering your diet, your brain freaks out. Huge change is harder to cope with and often results in little to no improvement because it can’t be maintained. But if you make a small, insignificant change on a consistent basis, you will eventually achieve the massive results you were looking for.
Instead of changing big things occasionally, why not change the little things daily? Lets say you want to lose 70 kg (approx. 150 lbs). Seems like a big task doesn’t it? Most people get all excited about this goal that they go all out and change every part of their diet within one day or they try and exercise for an hour a day.
This most often ends up in frustration and discomfort and you revert back to the way things were before. Instead, what if you decided to cut out your can of coke at lunch, the next day you eat half a bag of chips for your midnight snack instead of the full bag you used to eat.
These changes are easy to cope with if you do them at your own pace and eventually you end up with a radically different pattern of behaviour and huge results over time. It seems effortless to make these small changes but it doesn’t take long to adapt to a small change and then move on to the next one.
So next time you set a goal or start a project, you may want to deal with each issue as it arrises instead of trying to pre-plan everything. Commit to taking the first step, you don’t need to know the whole path to start. Once you effectively apply the first step you will be better equipped to know what the second step should be and so on.
Try applying Kaizen to every area of your life, apply Kaizen to you fitness/sports, apply Kaizen to your relationships, apply Kaizen to you career, apply Kaizen to your communication. Applying Kaizen is easy, why not get started today and commit to one small increment of improvement.
For more specific information on applying Kaizen, visit the tips and techniques page at our website. And don’t forget to ask about the Born To Win seminar, you will learn this strategy and how to apply it effectively to everything. You will also learn to manage your emotional states for instant peak performance in anything you do.
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