Kaizen is a system of continuous improvement: an industrial philosophy that embraces absolutely everyone within the company culture. The goal is in maintaining constant improvement towards productivity, quality, safety, waste reduction, and leadership. A vast continuous flow of tiny constructive ideas will invariably make a huge differences in aggregate. And the process never stops...
Kaizen is the key element in the Japanese miracle taping into the creative abilities of every single person in the organization. When understood and appreciated by management, people will joyfully participate to make their work easier, more interesting and build their skills and capabilities.
Gulfstream Corporation in one of their plants in 2009 obtained 40 implemented ideas per employee, both enriching the working lives of their employees and saving millions of dollars. Autoliv in Ogden, Utah is asking each of their employees, in 2010, to submit 96 ideas.
The Kaizen process is simple. Just ask people to look around their work area and identify small problems, come up with possible solutions, present them to their managers and implement them on their own. It is powerful. It works very well.
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Bunji Tozawa is the president of the Japan Human Relations Association and the author of over 25 books in Japanese on Kaizen. He is also the co-author of The Idea Generator published in 2001. He is the world's leading authority on Kaizen, teaching the concepts for over 25 years to thousands of students.
Norman Bodek was the owner of Productivity Inc. - Press, publishing over 200 books on productivity and quality including the works of Dr. Shigeo Shingo and Taiichi Ohno, co-creators of the Toyota Production System (JIT - Lean). He is also the author of Kaikaku the Power and Magic of Lean and the co-author of The Idea Generator, Rebirth of American Industry, and All You Gotta Do is Ask.
Norman has written hundreds of articles on Japanese management, been to Japan 75 times, keynoted numerous conferences, taught Kaizen to many organizations and is now an adjunct professor of management at Portland State University.Review:
I love this book and can't wait for it to come out. It is relevant to my situation today. He brought lean to America and continues to bring golden ideas to America through his contacts in Japan. This is truly a breakthrough idea! --Steven Hatch, Lean Specialtist
This is a timely book on a topic of great importance to managers in these difficult times. The concepts in it will not only help you survive the recession, but emerge from it stronger. If you implement a high-performing idea system, like those described in this book, it will raise your organization s performance to a new level, one that would have been impossible to reach before.
How did Autoliv and Gulfstream two of the companies featured in this book get 63 and 33 implemented ideas per person in 2008? This book will show you.
I have always admired both of the authors of this book, because they have always been just enough ahead of their time to be agents of significant positive change. --Alan G. Robinson, Professor, Department of Finance & Operations Management, University of Massachusetts, co-author Ideas Are Free
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