How The Japanese Business Model is Fueled by Spontaneity.
The Kaizen approach, for anyone not quite familiar, can be simply explained as always striving to make things better. Generally, this results in a process of making small but impactful changes that lead to an overall improvement. For some it’s a personal development approach and its the mantra of many great businesses. For the Kaizen approach to work at a business, the corporate culture has to be conducive to and encouraging of spontaneity. Here’s why.
Ideas Need Room.
If there is no opportunity for ideas and no platform to present them, then there is little chance that innovations (even small ones like the Kaizen approach promotes) can be benefited from. When you create a corporate space where time is given for idea generation and ideas are celebrated, you’ll discover more and more the power of little ideas adding up.
Plans Can’t be Ironclad.
Don’t get us wrong – we love a good plan, especially when it comes to business planning. However, if you create a plan based on what you know at a specific time and lock it in, you miss the opportunity to take advantage of changes or opportunities that might come up. Being rigid within a plan doesn’t give the plan the ability to be stealth and adapt to new ideas, observations or changes.
Using Social Media to Create Raving Fans.
Remember the adage the ‘customer is king’? One of the best ways to activate the Kaizen approach is to listen to the customer and continuously improve their experience. What better way to create a raving fan than to be able to solve their problem or add to their positive experience in the moment. Social media gives us an incredible opportunity to serve our customer in ways never before possible – but only if the business has the capacity for spontaneous action.
Employee Pride and Ownership.
When an employee sees their ideas taken into action for the betterment of the company, they develop a sense of pride in what they do, are generally more happy with their situation and more likely to stay loyal to the company. All of this can come from implementing, Kaizen style, spontaneous ideas and improvements but it can also come from simply acknowledging spontaneous ideas. Once one idea is implemented or praised, more are sure to come and that is what fuels the Kaizen model of continuous growth.
Little Ideas Lead to Big Ideas.
The whole basis of the Kaizen approach is that little changes will all add up to big results. This is true for spontaneity too. Encouraging and implementing little changes will encourage everyone to look for those little changes. While this may not seem like spontaneity – it is very much in the spirit of spontaneity because now people are working in an environment where they are paying attention in the moment to what is going on and thinking about possible improvements. They are open to spontaneous notions and opportunities.
Some spontaneous ideas catapult a business in a big way – just look at Richard Branson or Steve Jobs. Will you create a culture of spontaneity and benefit from the Kaizen way?