(by Ananya Tyagi, Class XI)
We don't realise how easy it is to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis.
This is exactly what the Japanese concept of "Kaizen" puts forward. "Kai" literally means "change" and "zen" means "for the better". The concept was initially laid down for businesses to grow and evolve but it can also be used in our daily life.
There are 10 principles of the 'kaizen' concept.
Focus on the fact that if you can get 1% better each day for one year, you'll end up three hundred sixty five times better by the time you're done. Conversely if you get 1 Percent worse each day, you'll decline nearly down to zero. What starts as a small win or a minor setback accumulates into something much more
Here are some examples of some companies which have used the kaizen concept:
Toyota is arguably the most famous for its use of Kaizen, but other companies have also successfully used the approach.
The impact created by a small change can be visualised by this example,
Imagine you are flying from Los Angeles to New York. If the pilot adjusts the heading by just 3.5 degrees south, you'll land up in Washington instead of New York. Such a small change, barely noticeable at the time of take-off can move you more than a hundred miles apart.
The real beauty of Kaizen is that it’s a way of living that can help you in any situation.
The real key to understanding and applying Kaizen is focusing on the idea of continuous improvement, you’ll find as time passes the subtle continual improvements will empower you to set the next set of goals and actually accomplish them.