An Unexpected Lean Thinker and her “Kaizen Lifestyle”


I stumbled across a surprising use of the word “kaizen” the other day from a surprising source – TV entertainment reporter and actress Maria Menounos.

She talked about kaizen in an interview about her book The EveryGirl's Guide to Life.

The quote from the end of the interview:

Maria Menounos: I think we should all really be realizing that it is about the kaizen philosophy and continuous improvement. Whatever age you're at, wherever you are in your life, it's always striving to do things better, not in an overwhelming way, not in the I'm-not-happy-with-myself-anymore way, but to always be growing and always be learning and always be open to making changes and adjustments in your life. If you don't have it all together right now, take baby steps. Say, you know what? I'm going to organize my car, that's the first step. Or I'm going to start with my closet. It's really wanting to better your life and realizing you don't have to spend a lot to do it.

Are you living the kaizen philosophy? Are you applying small daily improvements to your own life and home? What a great goal to always be growing and learning and making changes.

I hope her fans take her message to heart – we'll be laying the groundwork for more Lean thinkers in the world.

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


  1. Mark it is nice to see and hear that people outside of just business are starting to realize that what Lean teaches applies every where and in everything we do. If we all just try being a little better everyday, over time we will all improve massively.

    I have been doing that myself, though I am a great guy to talk to about anything, I have to work twice as hard when I write anything. To solve that problem I have been embarking on a step by step writing improvement program. And so far the changes have been great, so that now I nolonger fear have to sit down and write another post, or article, hopefully soon I will get to the point that I actual look forward to doing it.

    We all just need to remember a journey is taken one step at a time, and more than half the pleasure actually can come from the trip itself.

  2. I really love Maria’s new book. I’ve been organizing my closet, and she’s got plenty of organization tips to help out with that. I recommend it to everybody.

  3. I thought her book was going to be a biography. I didn’t know that it’s a how-to guide. This is all sounding terrific!


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