Robert Maurer, PhD, is a consultant – to corporations, hospitals, universities, theater companies, spas, even the British government – on the technique of kaizen.
In his article ‘Thinking big’ could be making you FAIL!, he writes about this strategy of taking small steps:
“If someone was looking to break out of a career rut, I advised him or her to write out weekly, monthly, annual, and long-range goals, and so on.
“But when client after client came back to me frustrated, dejected, and overwhelmed with guilt because they hadn’t been able to stick to their plan — and had consequently “failed” to achieve what they had set out to do — I began to question the standard approaches to personal change… and to look for a different way. I found it in an extraordinary Japanese principle known as kaizen.”
Bonnie Nijst, President of National Association of Women Business Owners, Los Angeles, advised some ways to use this approach in an article [“Firm resolutions from local pros” by Cyndia Zwahlen, Los Angeles Times Dec 27 2006]:
“She has learned, for example, to take incremental action on everything that comes across her desk, rather than just stick most of it into piles. The goal is ‘to keep it moving forward,’ Nijst said.
Dr. Maurer explains, “The secret to kaizen’s power is the fact that it engages the brain in a completely different, much smarter, and infinitely more effective way than innovation does.”
In addition to the article, he describes how to use this approach in his book The Spirit of Kaizen: Creating Lasting Excellence One Small Step at a Time.
Also available as audiobook: One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way to Success.