Most people don’t deny the Japanese ability to streamline, improve, and work hard. Below, read how you can learn from the Japanese to improve your business efficiency through Kaizen.
One of our Managing Directors, Heather Pressler, was born in Hawaii and grew up immersed in Japanese culture. As a graduate student, she worked in Tokyo at the premier research center, University of Tokyo “To-Dai.” Here is our interview with her.
Why Did You Decide to Work to Japan?
I grew up outside of the Japanese culture, but I was surrounded by the culture as a child and held myself to certain standards. As an adult, I felt I needed to understand more about Japanese culture. In addition, some of the most cutting-edge research laboratories were located in Japan so it was an incredible learning experience to work with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).
What is The Work Culture Like in Japan?
Japan is a 24/7 economy much like the US. Except, the typical work day was 10-12 hours long. People would go home for dinner and come back to work. I knew colleagues that slept under their desks if they missed the last train home (at midnight)! People worked towards goals and perfection, endlessly.
What Can We Learn From the Japanese Kaizen?
The Japanese approach business and science is practical. They value loyalty, hard work, and execution. One thing I learned from the Japanese is that everything needs to be examined. When you take a process from the ground up, and analyze it, you can find ways to improve it. This is called Kaizen and its the reason Honda beat out GM and Ford.
How Does Kaizen Apply to Everyday Business Efficiency in America?
Take your most profitable revenue stream. How long does that product or service take you to sell / perform? If you farmed out or improved some non-technical part, would that you save yourself valuable time? Are you paying the lowest amount for the supplies to do it? Are you charging market rate or above for your time? If you aren’t, you could be losing valuable time and your business could be losing a lot of money day after day.
Call us today to help you become a business Ninja.