By November 12, 2011 7 Comments Read More →

Kaizen for Kids

Paul Akers, the President of FastCap is a great advocate for staff-driven kaizen (or improvement) ideas in the workplace. Paul and his company bring many people through his company so they can see their fun culture of continuous improvement (as shown in this video). Paul also has a new book that I enjoyed called “2 Second Lean” – focusing on even the smallest improvements that save just two seconds in your day.

Here’s a fun video that shows a kid who has taken this enthusiasm for improvement to his school:



Can you imagine building a lifelong habit of kaizen from your earliest days in school? What if everybody had an expectation that they should be able to participate in kaizen in the workplace?

In our upcoming book Healthcare Kaizen, we talk about the power of taking initiative to make small improvements that make your day easier or improve patient care. Joe Swartz and I want to have a website where people can share kaizen ideas from their workplace or home. I wonder if we can inspire people to make videos that highlight their kaizen improvements, as this kid did? What are your thoughts on the kid’s video or the possibility of sharing kaizens via video and YouTube?


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Now Available – The updated, expanded, and revised 3rd Edition of Mark Graban’s Shingo Research Award-Winning Book Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety, and Employee Engagement. You can buy the book today, including signed copies from the author.


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Mark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Mark is a consultant, author, and speaker in the "Lean healthcare" methodology. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent project is an eBook titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

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7 Comments on "Kaizen for Kids"

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  1. Paul Akers says:

    Mark I love what your doing, i just got a note from the Teacher at cornerstone and the kid are very happy that you featured their video!
    Thank For your hard work.

  2. Mark Graban
    Twitter:
    says:

    Here is another budding lean thinker. Teaching kids to identify waste (whether environmental or otherwise) is a great critical thinking skill set, eh?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=EWAiD0v46vo

  3. Mark Graban
    Twitter:
    says:

    And here is a great example of an implemented quick and easy kaizen:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcnFFTHFmRQ&feature=related

  4. Mark Graban
    Twitter:
    says:

    Here is a podcast that Paul Akers did about the school and their kaizen efforts:

    http://theamericaninnovator.com/2011/guests/112611-cornerstone-christian-school

  5. art says:

    Hi Mark,
    I think experiencing kaizen should be required for every child.
    I have a 6 and 8 year old and want them to know that excellence is preferred over perfection. Continual improvement is central to my beliefs. I am fortunate, I worked with a kaizen master in my early career and she focused on daily improvements in my work and we accomplished great things over our 2 years of working together. Finding a weekend kaizen focused experience with parents and their kids would be a great idea. Art

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