Kaizen Method: Meaning & How To Apply This Model
In this article, you are going to learn what the Japanese Kaizen method is. It is very simple to apply. You can make positive changes in your company or in your life through baby steps! Read more about the power of small, first steps …
The Kaizen method is all about ‘micro-learning’
The Kaizen philosophy teaches you to continuously implement changes in your company or life in small steps , instead of all at once. In other words: with the Kaizen method you are always taking small ‘ baby steps’ .
Kaizen is meant to motivate yourself to change something in your own life or organization. It is often used in business in combination with ‘lean’.
Go for a small first step
Have you set a goal or do you want to start something? Go for the first step, no matter how small. It’s about getting started. Because starting implies that you continue.
What is the first small step?
All that matters is you do it! You can keep dreaming, but something will also have to be done. And a first step is enough!
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Imagine if you were super excited about your goal and at your best, what would you do? Do the first step immediately, or right after the coaching session, if you have a coach.
Do you want a thousand customers? Start with 1. Choose small. You can’t get a thousand customers if you can’t even get 1.
The fear of doing something is in the anticipation, so while waiting prior to the act. The fear is not in the act itself. This can only be solved by action . The first step is just an action injection.
It is sometimes surprisingly easy how with a small change, you can change big things.
Example of Kaizen: always go to bed 5 minutes earlier
You don’t have to go through that big change that you want to achieve in one go. Harness the power of micro learning. For example, do you want to go to bed early? Then go to bed 5 minutes earlier every night.
Such a small improvement can start a snowball effect in your life. One thing can lead to another.
More examples of Kaizen: how to solve claustrophobia and nail biting
Milton Erickson instructed his claustrophobia clients to go into a closet and close the door one millimeter each time. Or he instructed nail biters to save 1 extra finger each time.
You could compare Kaizen with the salami technique: “You only have to stand … Come and stand there, there is more space … You are now standing anyway, so come on stage.”
Apply the Kaizen model: is there a step-by-step plan?
Applying Kaizen is very simple: always make one small change. Always take a very small step. With every change you take the time to get used to so that every improvement is incorporated into your life and you become the new ‘normal’.
Do you want to eat healthier? The white sandwich with chocolate spread becomes a whole grain sandwich with chocolate spread. After a week it will not become chocolate spread but cheese. Get rid of sugar. Another week later it will not be a sandwich but an avocado. The rest of your diet remains the same. You keep changing one thing. After a few months, your entire diet will have changed without difficulty. And you will not relapse.
We cannot do great things – only small things with great love.
– Mother Teresa
Or take meditation: instead of meditating for 20 minutes a day, just start with 1 minute now. This is so easy you have no reason not to. You gradually build up a new habit.