Origins of this Quote on “The Biggest Room in the World”?

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I've been trying to identify the source of this quote or maxim for my upcoming book Healthcare Kaizen: Engaging Front-Line Staff in Sustainable Continuous Improvements.

The quote is:

The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.”


I've seen it listed as a Chinese proverb and a Japanese proverb. It's probably one of those “author unknown” situations? If you have a lead, please leave a comment, And, yes, I've tried Google :-)


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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.

5 COMMENTS

  1. I doubt it would be Chinese as the word ‘room’ is idiomatic in English in this expression.

    The translation of room in this context would be ‘space’ or ‘air’ which is different from a part of your house.

    Can’t speak for Japanese but suspect same issue.

  2. Got one response via Twitter, but I still don’t think that’s the original source, the self help book that Stewart wrote a few years back.

    “The largest room in the world is the room for improvement” – Meiji Stewart

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