Kaizen is... Very Dangerous Stuff?
Tom Peters in his 'This I Believe' puts an intriguing and fascinating end to Kaizen (Continuous Improvement) belief in order to create some thing new... the next big thing.
Kaizen (Continuous Improvement) is...Very Dangerous Stuff.
Caught with our pants down by vigorous Japanese competitors, we Americans quickly copied their essential competitive ideas, such as Total Quality Management and Kaizen. Fair enough! Brilliant, in fact! Yet these important notions are in part cornerstones of an earlier, industrial ageâ€¦when winning products stayed on the shelves in showroom floors for years, even decades. Now excellence has become transient (few teams win back-to-back championships in sports, the competition and rate of improvement have become so intense); and the fact is that the Pursuit of Perfection (at todayÊ¼s â€œsportâ€) gets in the way of ferreting out the Next
Big Thing. My de facto mentors in all this are media guru Marshall McLuhan (â€œIf it works, itÊ¼s obsoleteâ€) and IT guru Nicholas Negroponte (â€œIncrementalism is innovationÊ¼s worst enemyâ€). Excellence has become transientâ€¦ the Pursuit of Perfection (at todayâ€™s â€œsportâ€) gets in the way of ferreting out the Next Big Thing.