Ten Commandments of Continuous Improvement
Have you ever found yourself asking…What does continuous improvement actually mean? Well it could mean a lot of things to a lot of different people and companies. But generally speaking, continuous improvement is the effort to continually improve the business processes, products, and services a company provides.
While there are many methodologies such as Lean and Six Sigma (along with their respective principles and tools) that can help companies improve processes, the heart of continuous improvement is people and culture.
Take a look at the Ten Commandments of Continuous Improvement below and you’ll see that each guiding principle is driven by human behavior – not technical knowledge, statistics or tools.
1. Open your mind to change
2. Think, “Yes we can, if…” not “No we can’t, because…”
3. Always attack processes, not people
4. Seek simple solutions instead of complex solutions
5. If it’s broken, stop and fix it
6. Use creativity, not capital: “wits over wallets”
7. Problems are opportunities in disguise
8. Fix the root cause: ask “why” five times (instead of who)
9. The wisdom of many is better than the knowledge of one
10. There is no final destination on the improvement journey
While each of these commandments is essential to building a continuous improvement culture, number ten is the one that puts the continuous in just plain improvement. The journey never ends.
Over the coming weeks I’ll be diving into these commandments, posting my thoughts and examples as I find them in business and everyday life.
Ron Pereira at Gemba Academy produced a nice video summarizing these commandments. This video was the inspiration to write this series of posts. After a 2 minute introduction to Kaizen, he jumps right in to the Ten.