I’m sure some of you are thinking, “What the heck is ‘kaizen’?” Broken down it means….

KAI = Good
ZEN = Improvement

In other words, continuous improvement. It’s a Japanese business philosophy that carries great weight in all aspects of life. The idea being that if you want something to change for the better then you must constantly work on it. A few basic principals of Kaizen are…

1) Good processes bring good results
2) Go see for yourself to grasp the current situation
3) Speak with data, manage by facts
4) Take action to contain and correct root causes of problems
5) Work as a team
6) Kaizen is everybody’s business

While all these principles may not speak directly to you, some of them are quite useful when beginning our New Years resolutions.

Personally, I believe only 2 truly matter for New Years resolutioners: #1 and #4

Why? Good processes bring good results is fairly self explanatory. No one just “magically” adopts changes that are lasting. They take time to develop and practice. And, that’s where #4 (taking action to correct mistakes) comes into play.

Test and retest until you find what works for you. Start small, not big. When in doubt, get a team to help you (personal trainer, accountability buddy, dietician, etc.).

So, which of the Kaizen principles do you think are most important?


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