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?

What do you think? Please scroll down (or click) to post a comment. Or please share the post with your thoughts on LinkedIn.

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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 says

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


  3. Mark Graban says

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

  4. Mark Graban says

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


  5. […] the video and read Mark’s thoughts here. LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

  6. […] publicly, whether it is a “Quick and Easy Kaizen report” or a short video like Dan or the kids at this school have made. What do you think? Can we build a community of kaizeneers? Would you be willing to participate? If […]

  7. 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

  8. Lee Houghton says

    Mark, I love this and am a huge advocate it’s never too early to lean…
    this inspired a new series of books I’ve started, the first one being 5S for kids:
    Grandads Plan: A rhyming children’s book that introduces the lean tool 5S: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1547019840/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_oE.mzbJBVZ2D7
    I’d be really keen to hear your thoughts on this and what topics you think should be in the series

    1. Mark Graban says

      Interesting. What was the motivation for writing it?

      I “wrote” this book as an April Fool’s Joke a few years back:



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