I have heard people saying “we are doing 100 Kaizen’s per month or we are doing 1000 Kaizen’s per month,” but is this really what KAIZEN™ is all about?

One of the most notable features of KAIZEN™ is that big results come from many small changes accumulated over time. However this has been misunderstood to mean that KAIZEN™ equals small changes only. In fact, KAIZEN™ means everyone involved in making improvements everyday and everywhere. While the majority of changes may be small, the greatest impact may be kaizens that are led by senior management as transformational projects, or by cross-functional teams as KAIZEN™ events.

KAIZEN™ is the practice of continuous improvement. KAIZEN™ was originally introduced to the West by Masaaki Imai in his book Kaizen: The Key to Japan’s Competitive Success in 1986. Today KAIZEN™ is recognized worldwide as an important pillar of an organization’s long-term competitive strategy. KAIZEN™ is continuous improvement that is based on certain guiding principles. It is not merely doing some numbers per month or giving some suggestions. It should not be mixed or confused with KAIZEN™ Teian.

KAIZEN™ – improvement with ideas

Teian – develop employees abilities to contribute ideas.

Suggestion Scheme is the word or tool used by western world while KAIZEN™ Teian is used by Japanese. To know the different or the benefit of each please our blog on “KAIZEN™ Teian: the bottom up approach to productivity improvement.”

Objective of KAIZEN™ Teian – 3 stages



Stage 1: Employees are encouraged simply to participate in the activity.

Stage 2: Employees develop their abilities to make creative proposals.

Stage 3: Results/ Effects of proposals are emphasized

Stage by stage objectives of KAIZEN™ Teian


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