Kaizen can save a company in crisis | Thought Leadership |

For a company in crisis, kaizen in itself may not be enough to save it from demise. Kaizen does have a place within the long-term plan for t...

For a company in crisis, kaizen in itself may not be enough to save it from demise. Kaizen does have a place within the long-term plan for transformational change though, which will help an organization avoid returning to the brink of disaster.

By Karn G. Bulsuk


For a company that needs to respond immediately to change, be it a result of a rapidly shifting market, or the result of impending bankruptcy, kaizen on its own is not the best methodology to use. Kaizen was never designed to allow rapid change - its very nature focuses on making small changes to processes which, in the long run, would lead to significant improvements in product, processes and even people. It is a slow process which is expected to yield fruit gradually, taking time before large-scale effects can be seen and measured.

This is not to say that kaizen has no place within an organization in crisis. In fact, kaizen should be included as part of the long-term recovery plan, where the roots for kaizen can be planted to bear fruit in the long-run.

One of the best investments a company can make as part of organizational change is to implement the kaizen mindset and its associated tools. Implementing something new is easier during a time of hardship, when people are more willing to take risks and embrace change when their jobs may be at stake.

In addition, including kaizen into transformational change will provide the organization with powerful tools to help improve processes and identify root causes to problems. The 5-whys are especially popular to help prevent the same problem from reoccurring, while PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) will help to add discipline and structure to work and project implementation. Most importantly, it helps to organization to formulate countermeasures to the true root causes of problems, so that the true problem is fixed.

Spending a little bit of time now to also include kaizen for the long-haul will help not only to pull the company out of its current crisis and survive, but to also help it thrive far into the future.

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Karn Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead: Kaizen can save a company in crisis | Thought Leadership |
Kaizen can save a company in crisis | Thought Leadership |
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Karn Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead
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