Personal Design Kaizen: 15 Tips for your continuous improvement

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. We can call this “Personal Kaizen.” Others have applied the personal kaizen approach to personal efficiency or GTD. You too can take the spirit of kaizen and apply it to your own unique personal kaizen approach to improve — step-by-step, little-by-little — your design mindfulness, knowledge, and skill. READ MORE >>

Idea Sandbox: The 5 Stages of Acceptance

Paul Williams reviews the book What A Great Idea! 2.0 by Chic Thompson, which he describes as "chock full o’ bits of wisdom that help with creativity and creating new ideas."

From The Idea Sandbox:

Chic points out that killer phrases “are as inevitable in the innovation process as ideas themselves.”

He adds, “psychologists have siad that the human reaction to a new idea unfolds something like this, which we could call the Five Stages Of Idea Acceptance.” I’ve turned this list into a handy graphic suitable for framing.

The door-lock analogy is pretty accurate… You can have four of the five locks open, but the door is still closed until all five are unlatched.

Problem Solving 101: A Simple Book for Smart People.

When I was a bachelor living in Chicago, my mom called one evening: "Your brother has a question for you."

She put 8-year-old Josh on the phone, who was curious if I still owned that 200-foot climbing rope. "Why? What's your plan?"

He was trying to solve a unique problem: How to connect a long rope from the 75-ft pine tree in our yard to the roof of the house in order to slide down it as a zip line.

(NOTE: Josh has been to the emergency room more than anyone else in our sprawling, adventurous family!)

Point being:

  1. "Problem-solving kids" are great,
  2. They need some skills and models to help'em,
  3. And society needs lots more of them!


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