How are Kaizen and examination different?
In Japan, many of us have experience of entrance examinations.
Let me tell you what the entrance examination in Japan is..
You may pass the examination if you get the score of 60% on average. That means challenging to get full mark in your favorite subject and getting very bad score in the others may lead you to failure. But if you pay more time for the subjects in which you are weak and get the 60% scores on average, you may pass the examination. .
Copying the neighbor’s answer is cheating and never allowed. In addition, both starting time and finishing time is strictly observed. And chattering is also prohibited..
I have not met a person who likes this kind of competitive examination..
How about Kaizen? You cannot win the competition by getting 60% score. The achievement level of 60% score is very common among many rival companies. You can win only when you do take actions for the rest 40% faster than the others. .
Oh! Is KAIZEN harder than that bad dream entrance examination? You may think so, but it is quite different at all..
At first copying is never cheating in KAIZEN. If you find good things in a production plant tour, or if you get an information of good Kaizen examples, you do copy it as soon as possible and you will be praised. Starting time and finishing time is not very strict. If you can start it earlier, or you continue till it is finished, you will be praised. And the chattering is welcome. Let’s make a better thing while chattering and exchanging information and working out an idea..
I still have a nightmare impossible to write an answer in the entrance examination, although the examination was 48 years ago (I am 66 years old). I hate it!.
On the other hand, I have been doing Kaizen more than 40 years since I graduated from the university. This is because Kaizen is exciting and fun. Cooperation and visible result step by step makes us happy! .
How do you do?
My name is Yukio Kakiuchi a Kaizen consultant in Japan.
I am going to write an essay about Kaizen every week.
Today I write about the Kaizen which I am doing in Japan as a consultant.
“Kaizen” is a Japanese word and the character “Kai” means “change”, “Zen” means “good”. Kaizen is an activity to change for better.
In Japan some people take this word Kaizen in two ways. One takes it very difficult, and the other take it very small.
People of the group which takes Kaizen very difficult, say “Kaizen is a very high level engineering job. It should be unique and should earn a big amount of money. I am just an operator and have nothing to do with it.
People of the other group which takes Kaizen very small, say “Kaizen is a too old and too small technique to use in the IoT days”.
My understanding about Kaizen is different from either of the two.
Even if each Kaizen result is very small, but it changes the management drastically with all members’ participation together forever. Everybody can do Kaizen and all of the Kaizen help company management.
The world is changing at very high speed and the speed becomes faster and faster. There are many things around me which I did not know last year and the thing which does not exist now will show up next year.
It is very difficult to forecast how the world changes. People say it is impossible to prepare for the unpredictable future. However, there is a good way to prepare whatever change happens. It is to build the organization in which all the people are doing Kaizen and nobody has any uncomfortable feeling to change anything.
First, all the members improve and settle the personal small problems by each people’s small Kaizen. Next, if slightly big scale problem happens all the members in plant get together and do big Kaizen. And in case an incredible big problem happens, all the members solve the problem with the president as a leader, and it will be a great Kaizen.
How should we carry out to do such activity? I try to explain these from the both sides, how to think and how to move.