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Kaizen: “Things can always be better.”

by Mark Graban on January 8, 2013 · 2 comments

I saw this great image in a Honda TV ad during the BCS National Championship game last night.

It’s a very Kaizen expression… that things can always be better, even if you’re a fine-tuned machine like Honda or ¬†Toyota. It applied to both football teams last night (even to Alabama.. they weren’t perfect).

The same thought could apply if the image was an operating room, a hospital lab, a pharmacy, etc. The spirit of continuous improvement comes from a belief that things CAN be better and that we can actually make it HAPPEN.

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Mark Graban 2011 Smaller Kaizen: Things can always be better. leanAbout LeanBlog.org: Mark Graban is a consultant, author, and speaker in the “lean healthcare” methodology. Mark is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as the new Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. Mark is also the VP of Innovation and Improvement Services for KaiNexus.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Geoff January 8, 2013 at 7:32 pm

Hi Mark,

The Great British Olympics team last year had a similarly Kaizen sounding slogan with “Better Never Stops”.

The Honda slogan reminds me of an awful 90′s pop song by D-ream called “Things Can Only Get Better”, which I am now trying to get out of my head…. Thanks ;-)


2 Robert Drescher January 9, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Hi Mark

It surprises me just how many people and organizations somehow get themselves into the rut of thinking they cannot change. For all of recorded history, we see nothing but steady change for the better, despite the fact at no time were things perfect.

Perfection is something worthy of pursuit even though it is unobtainable. Throughout history people have improved healthcare. our food supply, and our ability to serve and look after each other. At any point in history people stepped up and made something better, why do so many now feel we can no longer get better, the reality is that all we have to do is want to be better and try and test ideas to find new and better ways to do anything or even new and better products.


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