What it is:
Kaizen is a Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement.
How it works (Example):
Kaizen does not have a set of steps, as it is a philosophy. The idea is that the status quo is not sufficient. Accordingly, companies that adopt kaizen constantly work to improve efficiency, strengthen teams, reduce bureaucracy, and improve employee and customer satisfaction.
Why it Matters:
Kaizen is very popular in the automotive industry, but any manufacturing or process-oriented enterprise can find the idea appealing. As part of their support for the philosophy, many companies encourage and reward suggestions for improvement from employees, suppliers and customers, and they a of emphasis on measurements of improvement over time.