Kaizen simply means ‘good or peaceful change’ A better definition would be ‘continuous improvement’. It’s not a magic wand – it’s a way of delivering change in your organisation that focuses on the work itself, gets everyone involved and quickly implements changes (both big and small) in a structured way.
Another Japanese word you might hear is ‘Gemba’ – it means the real place. In Lean, when we say go to the gemba – we mean go to where the work is happening.
Kaizen is a collaborative team-based approach to continuous improvement. Rather than improvements happening to a team from outside the team – change happens from within.
It’s one of the most effective and sustainable improvement techniques around.