Keeping it Kaizen

We are launching a new monthly blog ‘Deconstructing Change‘ by our internal change experts, Rachael Hays and Gayle Lui, to look at all things change and transformation. For the first edition our Delivery Manager Gayle looks into one of Definia’s values, ‘Keep it Kaizen’ and how this fit into the change landscape. Enjoy!

I’ve gotten a bit sick of the term Change and Transformation. Everyone’s talking about it, everyone’s doing it, no-one is doing it particularly well and even those that claim to, if they’re honest could have, (and should have), done it a hell of a lot better. Like all popular things it’s become a bit of a cliche and a clique, and unfortunately for many people they’re not part of the Change gang and that leads to huge disenfranchisement. Like any “It Group” it has developed its own slang and buzz words, which are great when you part of the club, but if you’re not, it can be rather alienating. The terms are being used so much that just as when the concepts were new and unfamiliar, (possibly frightening), some of the terminology is causing literal eye rolls when stakeholders and impacted people hear them – either because they don’t believe ot trust them or because they have the “here we go again” apathy… 

Keep it Kaizen – Is one of Definia’s values. I personally first came across the term Kaizen when I worked for Canon UK many years *cough decades ago. Kaizen (Japanese: 改善, “improvement”) is a concept referring to business activities that continuously improve all functions and involve all employees from the CEO to the “lowest” level workers. This resonates far more strongly with me, because in any Transformation programme, there is not one Change but a series of changes, some big, some small, some simple and some complex. By always referring to the big CHANGE, we are disconnecting it from the people who need to learn to work differently, engage with new systems and interact with colleagues, suppliers and customers in unfamiliar ways. It is intangible! 

So, what’s the answer, how do we do Change and Transformation better? There are crucial components of the process that need to be done right; covering them all off here would probably amount to a novel as opposed to a short blog. However, we’ll focus on key areas over subsequent articles. Success though for me starts with some basics. Most people come to work wanting to do a good job, yet we all have parts of our job which we could frankly do without or happily never do again and would welcome going away. Similarly, if we’re honest, we all know that companies must adapt and evolve to stay in business. We also recognise that a change in one place will impact others, so let’s embrace that and work together as one team not in separate, unconnected silos. Let’s also be realistic – it will take longer than we think, some things will be hard, some people will take longer to learn and adjust, and what may feel small to you could be unfathomably huge to another. So, try to talk simply, act kindly, stay positive or if you can’t manage that at least pragmatic and work together to succeed. 

Be Kind -> Deliver as One -> Keep it Kaizen -> Achieve Synergy

If you would like to talk more about an upcoming project and how Definia can help you, reach out to the team today.