Business Excellence with kaizen Operational Excellence for Business Excellence: The Kaizen Way!

Author / Editor: Divyakumar M Soneji / Dominik Stephan

All of us know that a lot of grit, commitment, hard work combined with smart work is required to turn ‘dreams into action and success.’ Every business aspires for excellence in its business; whether it is profits, growth or fairness. Dealing with all stake holders is the corner stone of business excellence.

Kaizen thinking focuses on waste reduction by making people capable to identify waste and remove it.
Kaizen thinking focuses on waste reduction by making people capable to identify waste and remove it.
(Picture: Kaizen Institute Consulting Group)

If only all wishes could come true! All of us know that a lot of grit, commitment, hard work combined with smart work is required to turn ‘dreams into action and success’. Every business aspires for excellence in its business, whether; it is profits, growth or fairness. Dealing with all stake holders is the corner stone of business excellence.

What are the building blocks of Business Excellence?

Strategy: Let us term it as ‘Strategic Excellence’. This is the organizations ability to think of ways to create differentiation. Strategy must help an organization stand out—it is about making solid plans which can lead the organization towards growth and profits.

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On the flip side is ‘Operational Excellence’. Strategy must be met with good execution. An operation is the ‘bridge’ that connects strategy with business success or excellence. Let me assume for a moment that the Strategy part is done—is in place and well thought of. The focus now shifts to Operations. How can we execute the plans while ensuring that the resources are used most efficiently? This is where Lean thinking or Kaizen comes in. Lean or Kaizen is about getting more with less or just the right quantity of inputs.

Operation Excellence demands Lean and Kaizen thinking! Lean or Kaizen thinking focuses on waste reduction by making people capable to identify waste and remove it. Let us look at two types of waste.

Visible Waste – waste that can be seen:

When one walks into a shop floor there are many things one can observe with minimal efforts such as dirt, disorder, leaking machines, material placed in a disorganized manner and people using no personal protective equipment and much more. These are right there, in front of one’s eyes. The challenge is to observe it and not just ‘see’ it every day! When one starts observing; it is said the process of change begins! No observation, no problems; no problems, no improvements! So observation + improvement are a must.

Invisible Waste – difficult to see and attack:

What about: Unused human potential? Poor sharing of information? Office related delays, slow or poor decision making, waiting, complex processes? These wastes are also killers, but often disguised!

Let me just take the first one. Unused human potential is a national challenge, let alone it being an organizational challenge. Millions of people with fertile brains, but untapped! How do we deal with this? Often in organizations, there is no system in place to engage with employees in order to tap their ideas and improvement suggestions! They are simply asked to follow orders! The going trend is that majority must only act, while a privileged few will think! But this is about to change... learn more on page 2!

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