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We Help Operations Managers to Conceive and Actualize Their Industrial Visions Based on the Lean Manufacturing Culture

Kaizen method, the 3 principles

The Kaizen method is based on 3 principles and 7 concepts.

The 3 principles of the kaizen method

The order in which the 3 principles are presented is purely coincidental. They are principles that are not subordinate to each other and because of their principle nature they are fundamental and immutable.

If someone came to you one day and told you that he does not apply or that he does not believe in one of these principles, you can undoubtedly answer him without error that what he is applying is not the true Kaizen method but a deviation from it.

In fact, the kaizen method is actualized only in the simultaneous presence of the 3 principles; even in a diminished form affected by different application proportions between the 3 principles but never in absence of the total compliance of at least one of the principles.

1 - The process leads to results

This Kaizen principle focuses on the need to acquire the aptitude to observe the facts that happen and the business performances that are obtained as the result of causal processes sequence.

If in the company you are not having the result you expected from a function or an activity, it means that the process adopted is fallacious or not perfect.

Applying the Kaizen principle, according to which it is the quality of the processes that determines the quality of the results, wants to induce the focus of all the company's collaborators in designing high quality processes.

kaizen method

This way of seeing things leads people to focus on the processes themselves and not on the people who run them.

Focusing on processes and seeing company facts as generated by processes releases people from the psychological burden they could unfairly self-harm and frees them from the accusing eyes of other colleagues.

This is one of the Kaizen principles, that when it is: understood, experienced and applied by managers, brings out in them the absolute need to well coordinate their collaborators to facilitate their work of designing quality processes that lead to desired results.

kaizen behavior

2 - Thinking Global, thinking systems

The extreme specialization of individual skills generates the risk of letting them experience work as if they were inside a silos from which they cannot get out; this phenomenon usually generates errors and inefficiencies of enormous magnitude.

Kaizen Filosofia - Sistema Globale

The second of the 3 Kaizen principles requires that the company adopt the habit of work in teams in which problems and solutions can be discussed and analyzed at 360°, taking advantage of the skills accumulated over time by everyone.

This leads to the generation of shared solutions that are optimized and respects the company's "system", be it our or that of the customer.

3 - Do not judge, do not blame

The third of the Kaizen principles requires that the company establish a culture and behavior of zero tolerance towards the blame and criticism of people.

Kaizen Filosofia - Non Giudicare , non biasimare

Imagine if in a business meeting where you have to come up with your best ideas and skills to solve a business problem, your boss or a co-worker began to personally criticize you in front of everyone.

How willing would you be to give the best of yourself for the good of the team and the company?

The third of the Kaizen principles wants to make people safe from the possibility of being personally criticized and with this, to ensure that they are always in their best psychophysical conditions in order to be enabled to always give their best of in the activities to carry out.

The 3 Kaizen principles as the foundation of the Kaizen method

The 3 principles set out are an essential condition for the realization of the Kaizen method. Many companies today are not prepared and organized to fully apply and exploit the enormous strength these principles bring.

However, every company can make the choice to be helped to follow the necessary cultural transformation path. The results that are usually obtained are astonishing and a proof of this are the Japanese multinational companies that 70 years ago were taken lightly by the west but which today look down on it.

In addition to the acquisition of the 3 Kaizen principles, the cultural transformation process involves the acquisition and use of 7 operational concepts.

Here are the links for further information.