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Kaizen - take some tiny steps

Kaizen is a term that is often bandied about within continuous improvement circles and by lean manufacturing experts. Kaizen is amazing, but quite often one of the more subtle aspects is often overlooked. Taking tiny steps is at the heart of the kaizen approach, a stance taken to help people overcome procrastination when projects or tasks look too complicated.

When someone is faced with a large task, a proposition that will take far too long to complete in their eyes, procrastination can kick in. When we take the same task and look for the smallest and simplest way to get the task started then the resistance to the work usually disappears. This is one of the most powerful uses for kaizen - find the tiniest step.

If new habits need to be formed in the workplace then you can use the same approach - find the simplest way and smallest way to perform part of the habit required. People gain momentum as their confidence increases and so what may seem a pointless tiny step could well be the start of something far more important than what we do today.

Chipping away at things in your business is one way to make improvements over time. Looking for the next big productivity jump may be difficult, but your team will know of the next tiny step we can take. Take these ideas and compound them over time, and in six months time you will be able to look back and astound yourself at the progress made. And, when you see a large jump you need to make, your team will be more ready to make the lead. The months of practicing small steps will pay off.

Kaizen, and the art of tiny steps, should be seen as a great way to incorporate continuous improvement, forming of new habits and improving performance. If it's tiny don't dismiss it - it could be the next big thing.

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