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Last updated Dec 14, 2022

A Japanese word that vaguely translates to “continuous improvement”. This is a proactive philosophy, and it has a few more implications than just “continuous improvement.”

The word also refers to any improvement, one-time or continuous, large or small, at any level of a system or process. It is an approach as much as a concept.

The Kaizen philosophy emphasizes the small over the large, breaking down problems into their smallest components. But from an organization perspective, it also makes sure to respect all members of an organization and give them agency.

There are a few “variations” of kaizen: