From Presen­ta­tion Zen: Kaizen (改善) means “improve­ment” — “kai” (改) means change/make better, and “zen” (善) means good — but as the term is used as a busi­ness process it more closely resem­bles in English “contin­uous improve­ment.” Kaizen is one of the keys to the steady improve­ment and inno­va­tion found at successful compa­nies in Japan such as Toyota. Says Matthew May, in his book The Elegant Solu­tion: Toyota’s Formula for Mastering Inno­va­tion, “Kaizen is one of those magical concepts that is at once a philos­ophy, a prin­ciple, a prac­tice, and a tool.” Though Kaizen is a tool used by corpo­ra­tions to achieve greater inno­va­tion, produc­tivity, and general excel­lence, it’s also an approach, an approach that we can learn from and apply to our own lives as we strive for contin­uous improve­ment on a more personal level. · Go to Personal Kaizen: 15 Tips for your contin­uous improve­ment →