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One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way Hardcover – June 1, 2004
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From the Inside Flap
An expert on the art of success, Dr. Robert Maurer has helped countless people and businesses use kaizen to reach their objectives and maintain excellence. Distilling its secrets, Dr. Maurer shows not only how and why kaizen works, but how to make it work for you how to position yourself for change and make your life more effective, whether at home or in the office; how to address personal changes and career changes; how to realize ambitions by sidestepping any impediments.
As one client succinctly put it, "the steps [are] so small I couldn t fail." And as far as being too busy to solve a problem, learn a new skill, overcome a fear, or curb a bad habit, forget it who doesn't have the 30 seconds it takes to get started?
The road to a life of continuous improvement begins with a single step.
About the Author
Robert Maurer, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist on the faculty of the UCLA and the University of Washington Schools of Medicine. He is the founder of the Science of Excellence, a consulting firm, and travels extensively presenting seminars and consulting on kaizen to diverse organizations, including corporations, hospital staffs, universities— even the U.S. Navy. Dr. Maurer lives in Spokane, Washington.
Top Customer Reviews
The book starts with some great examples of how our mindset typically works when faced with major change or obstacles. We freeze. We are unable to grasp the enormity of what is required and therefore have less likelihood of success. The strategy is then in breaking the situation down to smaller segments and executing them. For example, anyone can exercise three minutes a day. Now by itself this won't change your life, but what if three turns into ten, ten into twenty, twenty into thirty? Now major change is underway.
The other essential element to this approach is the ability to understand root causes. This is a critical step in any Quality effort in business, but is also just as relevant and perhaps more important in life. Start by asking small questions. These will eventually lead to the root or core issues to be addressed.
The other sections lead from these basic premises. Take small actions, for example. Once the problem or change desired is broken down into smaller segments, don't try to change all at once. Take small steps and watch them grow. I think a big reason this is so difficult to do, is that many of us hard charging type-A types lack the patience to allow change to happen through the one step at a time mindset, and want to rush it all at once. We do so often with faster results that over time achieve less, and therefore in the end are in fact slower than if we were patient to begin with.Read more ›
Now for the criticisms:
1. This is not a book about Kaizen, which is a collection of Japanese manufacturing techniques involving the elimination of waste, Just In Time delivery, production load leveling, standardized work, paced moving lines, and right-sized equipment. There is some small overlap with the program described by Dr. Maurer, but his is aimed at personal improvement and is much simpler.
2. Like many doctor/authors, Dr. Maurer suugests that he has found the solution to all of the reader's problems, the key to the universe, rather than a simple, useful tool.
3. The book is way too long. Fortunately, there are chapter summaries at the end of each chapter for those who prefer a quick read. An executive summary at the beginning of the book would be a welcome addition.
Readers who would like to see how the same approach can be applied to business should consider The Mind Of The Strategist: The Art of Japanese Business by Konichi Ohmae, one of the few great business books.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Reminds me of How to Eat a Frog by Brian Tracy, one bite at a time. Same with this book, make my goals one step at a time...break the goals down in attainable daily activitiesPublished 11 days ago by charlie potchad
This is a quick read but very insightful - great introduction to Kaizen methodology and a great gift to friends for inspiration.Published 25 days ago by JDP
Got this as a present for my birthday and I absolutely LOVE IT! It arrived in great packaging and in a timely fashion. The autograph is authentic and the poster looks amazing. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Maria van Scoyoc
Excellent read. The book explains the kaizen concept in simple language with real life examples. If you want to make career, health, relationship changes the approach of small... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mohammed Khan
I really was inspired by this book. I could immediately put it into action by just taking even the smallest possible steps towards my goals or just to better a situation. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Bookish
Good read. It's true that if you try to get too many things done or try to change too many things at once when working on a new habit, you'll probably not stick with it too long. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ron Wilder