Kaizen (improvement in Japanese) is a Japanese philosophy that has the capacity to radically alter the course of your life if you adopt the principle faithfully. The entire premise of the Kaizen approach is that the emphasis must always be on constant self-improvement and not on the results itself. This is the philosophy that has arguably shaped the Japanese approach to life after the calamity it suffered during the war. The approach has been used not only in business; it can also be applied on an individual level for self-improvement, for life coaching, or even at a governmental level. That’s because the concept of Kaizen is universal in its premise. Allow us to elaborate further.
The Power of 1%
The principle of 1% improvement is central to the Kaizen approach. Since the premise of Kaizen is constant improvement at all times, one can realistically aim to improve by 1% at a time at the very least. Now, some might think that something improving by 1% isn’t going to make things better by a lot and they’d be correct in that conclusion. But, since Kaizen is about constant improvement, we also have to consider the fact that an improvement of 1% has the potential to lead to tremendous changes in the long run as long as the improvement is constant in nature.
A Case in Study
Let’s apply the 1% principle in a trivial example. Let’s say a person has the habit of running for 3 km a day. But, this number isn’t satisfactory for the person concerned. Through Kaizen, that person can look to instantaneously improve at this number without straining themselves too much. Let’s say how that manifests:
At the end of 1 week
At the end of 2 weeks
At the end of 3 weeks
At the end of 4 weeks
The point of the above presented table is to show how mathematics agrees with the 1% principle. Now, for instance, even a 1% improvement every day can lead to an overall improvement of 32% in just four weeks. The individual can continue implementing the 1% principle to the point of contentment with self.
Possible Areas of Application
The Kaizen approach can be applied practically anywhere considering the premise of the concept is as simple as it can be. A corporation can apply this principle to their manufacturing routine or their supply chain management to increase their productivity. Toyota is famous for their use of Kaizen and the success it has accomplished through this process. Kaizen can also be applied to your academic pursuits to facilitate constant improvement along the way.
At Columbia College, our primary focus is for you to improve and become the best version of yourself. It doesn’t matter what program or course you’ve opted for, constant improvement is a universally applied concept and it always yields excellent results in the long-run.