8 key principles to give you the edge and help you grow and achieve more than you thought possible.
All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without benefit of experience. - Henry Miller, The Wisdom of the Heart
In the mid-1980s, a manufacturing concept called 'kaizen' began to spread beyond its roots in Japan and into the West. 'Kaizen' is a Japanese term, which roughly translated means 'improvement'. 'Kai' means 'change' and 'zen' means 'good' or 'for the better'. It means 'continuing improvement in personal life, home life, social life, and working life'. Essentially it means continuous improvement, seeking small improvements through the elimination of waste.
The culture of seeking continuous improvement should involve everyone from the most senior manager to the most junior employee. It can help build morale and self-respect in workers. The company benefits from a more motivated workforce, as well as improved financial returns resulting from more efficient operations. The customer benefits from the improved quality of product or service. And all this can be applied to your personal life as well, when learning how to be happy with yourself.
Kaizen incorporates a variety of techniques and principles into the overall culture and philosophy of improvement—improvement as a way of life, rather than the application of isolated techniques.
What Does This Mean to You?
I have taken the Kaizen or continuous improvement concepts and integrated it into the heart of the Leaders Path Institute coaching program. The Leaders Path Coaching model incorporates the concepts of continuous improvement and adds one important element that traditional Kaizen leaves—Celebrate! It is important to celebrate achievement by rewarding and recognizing significant milestone accomplishments along the way.
Here are the key principles in developing your own Personal Kaizen that will provide you with an edge that will help you grow and achieve even more than you thought possible:
- Accept the Situation – accept the process as a challenge and allow the personal development and change process to become your process.
- Examine – get all the facts; obtain data and information about your situation through assessments or feedback from trusted and crucial sources. Pay attention to all your feelings. Get to know the world as it is and as you want it to become. Identify the values implicit in your decisions to conduct personal change. Put them in writing. Use creative problem solving to uncover new connections.
- Name – decide what you believe to be the main issues and focus. Conceptualize and clarify your major goals concerning your desired outcomes. Use all your resources and be vigilant about searching for information to attain objectives.
- Generate – generate options for achieving essential goals. Survey the full range of possible goals. Search out all the ways of possibly getting to the major goals and identify alternatives.
- Select – choose from your options. Decide on your program goals. Check to see if they are clear. You select whether or not to relate to your goals and to your possible ways of getting there, and in collaboration, determine the best ways to go.
- Implement – this gives action and physical form to your selected “best ways.” Name Your Change – to Change, to Invent, to Adventure!
- Evaluate – to review and plan again. Determine the effects or ramifications as well as the degree of progress that you designed.
- Celebrate – celebrate your achievements with an individual meaningful reward.
Finally, by focusing on your intention and staying in the process you will achieve the best congruence between:
- Your values
- Your goal
- What you really want, and
- The methods to get to your best results possible