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The Spirit of Kaizen: Creating Lasting Excellence One Small Step at a Time Hardcover – November 1, 2012
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About the Author
Robert Maurer, Ph.D., is on the faculty of the UCLA and University of Washington Schools of Medicine. He is also the Director of Science of Excellence, a consulting firm that translates evidence-based psychology into practical strategies for success.
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The take away is simple, as a manager engage the individuals on your team and ask them to provide feedback for how to improve the "X" (with X being workplace, process, customer service, e.g. anything associated with their job) with the understanding that it's asking them for the most straight forward and inexpensive way to do so. Implement their reasonable suggestions and continue to ask them on how to improve the situation, creating a continuous improvement environment, where small helpful item get brought to your attention without you having to ask.
Robert Maurer adopts a real-world, common sense approach to implementing a quality program without the bells and whistles. The contrasts between the Japanese and American psyches helps the reader bring it home when considering change initiatives particularly in the noisy, competitive and distracted business environments in which we find ourselves today. You should read it together with Chip and Dan Heath's book, "Switch".