Kaizen: “Things can always be better.”


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 is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

  1. Geoff says

    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 says

    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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