Fix it!

If it’s broken, stop and fix it.

No better way to sum up this principle of continuous improvement, than advice from Weekend Update’s Financial Expert and Continuous Improvement guru, Oscar Rodgers…

Take it one step at a time:

  • Identify the problem, fix it!
  • Identify another problem, fix it!
  • Repeat as necessary until it’s all fixed!

(The full SNL skit in unavailable on the web at the moment. If it becomes available again I’ll post the link)

Bob Parsons, Remember Kaizen

Bob Parsons’ 16 Rules for Success in business & life in general.

Rule #7 caught my eye as a lean practitioner…

Always be moving forward.

“…Remember the Japanese concept of Kaizen. Small improvements eventually result in huge advantages.”

Thank you Bob.

And Thank you Masaaki Imai, John Wooden, Bob Wiley, Tony Hsieh, Ed Catmull, Van Gogh and and many others…who each believe in the same tenet; small is the new big. Funny thing though, it’s not so new.

Great acts are made up of small deeds. -Lao Tzu

Principles of Continuous Improvement

I was first introduced to the principles of continuous improvement by Ron Pereira at Gemba Academy. He produced a nice video summarizing the “10 commandments” of continuous improvement.

Over the past 6 years I have learned, taught and done my best to live these tenets everyday. There are many examples of these improvement ideas at play in everyday life, pop culture and of course the business world. Many of which I’ll share here.

I have “improved” the names of several of the principles as I have discovered new ways to apply their wisdom.

1. Open your mind to change
2. Say Yes, And
3. Always attack processes, not people
4. Seek simple 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. Ask Why (instead of who)
9. Seek the wisdom of the crowd (over the knowledge of one)
10. The journey never ends…

Practicing these principles at work and anywhere in your life will get you closer to that better process, that better you.

If you are trying to solve business problems, these principles can guide you. They are not easy to follow. Practicing them does make them easier to see opportunities, but human nature, the lizard brain and “save the status quo” business culture are constantly kicking these principles to the door.

It’s a good thing the journey never ends…