A Kaizen Quote from Seth Godin


As I did on Wednesday, I'm posting a quote that we collected for our upcoming book “Healthcare Kaizen,” but this time it's a quote from Seth Godin that we couldn't really work into the text (or haven't done so yet).

The quote (and my lazy blog post):

“Every day I meet people who have so much to give but have been bullied enough or frightened enough to hold it back. It's time to stop complying with the system and draw your own map. You have brilliance in you, your contribution is essential, and the art you create is precious. Only you can do it, and you must.”

Do your colleagues and employees have a brilliance that's just waiting to get out? Can it be expressed through Kaizen and continuous improvement? Have you seen this creativity unleashed through a Kaizen effort? Do you have that art inside of you?

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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. With apologies to Seth Godin, since I don’t know the context of the remarks, it sounds a wee bit like an exhortation to me! Of course the Ohno quote did, too…

    If people have been bullied or frightened in the past it may be all the more important to avoid depending on exhortation – they’ve probably heard it plenty. “Change, already!” probably won’t get us anything. Rather than exhort people to contribute, I’d rather open the door, give permission, and show them the way, through teaching and direct involvement of leadership with change.

    I’m still frustrated when people don’t “catch fire”, of course, but that is MY responsibility to deal with. Step by step, we move ahead. The “brilliance” is there in our people and our teams. It is our job as leaders to assist in its development.


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