Kaizen and CANEI



demand provide sweep/swept
thrive break in transform
aspect countless competitor
ruins attempt devastate
flood recover enthusiasm
enable consult put in practice
ongoing reward suggestion
brain session brainstorm
require fortune encourage
boost enterprise breakthrough
efficient tough imperceptible
surpass conquer advantage
multitude enhance


The Market

The quality revolution has swept across the United States and the world, transforming the way we do business.

In today’s market, customers expect and demand top quality goods and services. If a business does not provide this, they will shop elsewhere.


What this means for you is that you MUST offer products or services of high quality in order to break into and market, thrive and stay there.

If you already are in business, whatever got you to where you are now, is not enough to keep you there.

Remember, your competitors are thinking day and night about satisfying your customers better than you can. Their goal is to “steal” your customers you — and put you out of business.

The good news is that there are countless ways for you to improve every aspect of your business.

The Quality Revolution

At the end of World War II, Japan had been devastated and its economy lay in ruins.

Their first attempts at recovery involved the manufacture and export of cheap goods. These early products, which flooded the U.S. market in the 1950’s, were of very poor quality.

Dr. Deming

At about this time, William Edwards Deming, an American industrial expert, was invited by Japanese business leaders and engineers to consult them on quality control methods.

Dr. Deming introduced what became called the “Kaizen Method”.

The Kaizen Method

The word kaizen, in Japanese, means “continuous betterment” (another term for this is CANEI or “Continuous and Never Ending Improvement”).

Japanese businesses welcomed Deming’s ideas with enthusiasm, and put them into practice.

This single method enabled Japan in several decades to become a major industrial nation.

A New Way of Doing Things

In the Kaizen process, everyone in all levels of an organization looks for ways to make or do things … better … faster … cheaper.

It is always possible to become better at anything you do — and it’s an ongoing process without end.

In Practice

The total quality management movement (TQM) involves carefully analyzing each step of every procedure; then looking for ways to continuously improve in every area.

Management uses suggestion boxes … brainstorming sessions … reward systems … and constant encouragement to get everyone to think and generate ideas — at all times — about how to run an enterprise more efficiently: cutting costs, improving quality, increasing sales and boosting profits.

Every person is reminded to think, all day long, about how they can do their tasks better.


Continuous improvement does not require great breakthroughs to boost a company’s fortunes, though these do occasionally occur.

Instead, everyone makes “line-of-sight” improvements (line of sight refers to what you can see and do in your personal workplace or task).

Everybody can improve upon something in his or her own line-of-sight.

Sometimes one enhancement in a key area can give you a competitive advantage in a tough market.

And major breakthroughs can occur as a result of a multitude of tiny, imperceptible changes, or even after a series of “failed” attempts.


Individually, you and everyone should make it habit of standing back and examining every product, service and process.

Always ask yourself: “How could we improve it in some way? How could we make it better, faster or cheaper?”

The Goal

Never be satisfied with existing quality levels. Always look for ways to improve upon them.

Make this commitment to continuous improvement part of your company culture.

Your goal is to surpass your competitors in quality improvement before they surpass you.

When you do this, you will have conquered the market.

For now.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *


1. The marketplace is very tough and competitive. Is this correct or wrong?

2. According to the writer, what is the key or secret of business success? Is quality products and services optional or mandatory?

3. Japan has always had a reputation for good quality products. Yes or no?

4. Did the Japanese develop the commitment to industrial quality by themselves?

5. Describe the Kaizen Method.

6. Does the Kaizen Method only apply to engineers and scientists manufacturing products?

7. Employees can stop improving when a company succeeds and dominates the market. Is this true or false?

8. In Kaizen, do you need great inventions and innovations?

9. Kaizen or CANEI should be a habit, culture, outlook and way of life. Yes or no?
A. Is there fierce competition in your market? Describe the market and competition.

B. What improvements or innovations would be very beneficial for your company or organization?

C. Does your organization encourage everyone to make and do things cheaper, faster, better?

C. Who is the most innovative or creative person (in your company or organization) that you know of?

D. What is your “line of sight”? How could you improve on it?

E. What will happen in the future?

Share Button

Email this page

Comments are closed.