Kaizen is the Japanese word 改善? for continuous improvement or the philosophy that big results can be achieved by making many small improvements. Perhaps best illustrated by Neil Armstrong’s use of the phrase ‘One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’ to recognise his was just one step resulting from the work of a much larger team working closely together in a much longer process.
It was first practiced in Japanese businesses after the Second World War, influenced in part by American business and quality-management teachers, and most notably as part of The Toyota Way.
The Kaizen philosophy shares much common ground with the later approaches of lean manufacturing and the aggregation of marginal gains.
The same principles are used by MD2MD to develop the leadership capability of Managing Directors.