What is Kaizen?
Kaizen is indentified as a Japanese concept centering around creating a humanized culture of continuous improvement by focusing on the human resources - namely, the workers, supervisors, management and executives of a company, and what each individual and /or group can contribute. From efficient work habits, morale, and experience to product and production improvements, it is meant to promote acceptance of ideas and to improve employee satisfaction and involvement.
After WWII, when Japan was desolated from the effects of the war, America tried to assist Japan rebuild, and enlisted the help of industrial consultants to help stimulate Japan’s manufacturing efforts. Based on a management training film titled “Improvement in Four Steps,” (Kaizen eno Yon Dankai) the term “kaizen” was coined for a new approach to continuous improvement methodologies in industry.
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the teachings of such kaizen pioneers as W. Edwards Deming and Homer Sarasohn helped the kaizen philosophy to broaden and prosper.