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Friday, January 29, 2016

Lean Quote: Continuous Improvement is About Problem Solving

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"If no problem is recognized, there is no recognition of the need for improvement.— Masaaki Imai

The success of a company can depend to a large extent on the ability of its staff to solve problems effectively, both in their day-to-day work and through innovation. We are all faced with problems to solve in our workday. We are often not in control of the issues we face at work or home. Problems just present themselves. And chances are the issues you're facing aren't so cut and dry. Having the right attitude can make the difference between success and failure.

The starting point for improvement is to recognize the need. Kaizen emphasizes problem awareness and identification. Once problems are identified, the problems must be solved consequently. Kaizen is a problem solving process which requires the use of various problem solving tools. In Kaizen, the mindset of “no problem” or “no opportunity” must be carefully avoided.

Opportunities for improvement exist in all aspects of every industry, and can be identified by every person in any business. With the right culture of continuous improvement, problems, and technology, conscious identification of opportunities for improvement can transform a company into a more efficient, high-quality business.

Possessing good problem solving skills does not make people automatically use them to the benefit of the organization. They need encouragement, support and guidance in applying them to the organization’s problems.

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