Kaizen

Thursday, November 09, 2006

From the Wikipedia Article*


Kaizen (改善, Japanese for "change for the better" or "improvement", the English translation is "continuous improvement", or "continual improvement.") is an approach to productivity improvement originating in applications of the work of American experts such as Frederick Winslow Taylor, Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Walter Shewhart, W. Edwards Deming and of the War Department's Training Within Industry program by Japanese manufacturers after World War II. The development of Kaizen went hand-in-hand with that of quality control circles, but it was not limited to quality assurance.

Kaizen is often misunderstood and applied incorrectly, resulting in bad outcomes including, for example, layoffs. This is called "kaiaku" - literally, "change for the worse." Layoffs are not the intent of kaizen. Instead, kaizen must be practiced in tandem with the "Respect for People" principle. Without "Respect for People," there can be no continuous improvement. Instead, the usual result is one-time gains that quickly fade.

I have had one of the worst weeks of my life. When my Forman asked for volunteers for the Blue Shift weekdays I naturaly stepped up. Three weeks of sunlight (sorta) and the opportunity to make new friends and all while increasing the profits of my corporate stakeholders. Can you say "win/Win?"

Little did I know that when my Forman said 'volunteer' he meant to say 'fodder' and I would participating in the company Kaiaku . So when work started monday morning I was surrounded by lower and mid level management equipped with clipboards and stopwatches and hardly a word of explanation. I considered myself lucky by other standards the "management" might have armed themselves with whips and shackles.

There was not a
moment I was unobserved during working hours. My anger and frustration steadily rose under the intense pressure of scrutiny. Although I managed to supress it and display an almost affectionate passion for my work. The result as I had hoped was to impress my taskmasters as an asset for the company, without coming across as a cocksucker. I elected to present myself as the lovable platoon Sgt. I made entheusiastic remarks regarding the absurd scenario and generally behaved myself all while providing a role model for my fellow troopers.

Pretending for any long period of time can be mentally exhausting. My rallying shouts of "ROCK N ROLL" after breaktime and war cry whoops took a toll on my sanity. After hours I would return home crushed by the weight of shouldering responsibilty only to shift gears and deal with personal issues. The combined totality of all this stimilus left has left me weary and weak. Fatigued in both mind and body. I am hoping to recover as I can finally relax with an extended weekend. Be nice to Uno if you see him.


6 comments:

The Lazy Iguana said...

So, what do you think will come of this?

I do not trust people with clip boards.

UNO said...

well Im hoping with time my psychic wounds heal and it doesnt hurt I just placed an order for new gaming gear. Color me happier...

gtalk said...

Actually you might not know this UNO but *your* uncle, yes the one who invites you for thanksgiving, the one who hosts our family reunions, the one who taught you about family structure through me, yes thats right, that is the man whos brainchild is the 'kaizen program'. Which begs the question do you know this and lead us on, and was he not one of the people who held a clipboard, did you both not joke and marvel at the connectedness you must have felt? If not call him and give him direct feedback, I bet if you mentioned you actually were family of the kaizen, the clipboards would have been drawing pictures of you dancing rather than working. Ill kaizen you all right.

Zanitram said...

www.teamkaizen.org

my car club.. Semss we may have cheapened the word...

Anonymous said...

haha! and *your* uncle has been implanting his ways of kaizentry into my skull... im now a becon of light for those in the dark, those who need a little help...
J

UNO said...

Lord help us all