What are you waiting for? Go for the mini-adventure already!
A grassroots Kaizen Program is a great idea because it strengthens the process improvement muscle of an organization. The so-called big, transformational projects are all destined to fail unless each individual in the organization can carry his own weight in that top-down mega-project.
Nevertheless for an organization in a big hurry to achieve its transformation objectives, a program to embed a Kaizen culture presents a catch-22 situation. Creating the Kaizen culture is a transformational exercise in its own right.
One idea to sidestep the catch-22 is to introduce a Quick and Easy Kaizen or a mini-Kaizen – process improvement in 6 easy to remember steps. The technique then needs to be quickly applied by every member of the organization in order to embed the learning. This presents a problem in itself because enough projects need to be identified to allow for meaningful participation by everyone.
I have this off-the-wall idea that not everyone in an organization need to actively participate in formal process improvement projects in order to strengthen their process improvement muscle. For many in the organization, the best path to muscle building may be by introducing a self-improvement program through one of the more popular employee clubs and launched by a well-known adventurer/motivational speaker who will give a TED in 3 Minutes talk similar to this one by Matt Cutts encouraging his audience to Try Something New for 30 Days. When the idea that trying to stick with a small change everyday can be meaningful, productive and fun catches on in the organization, Kaizen will also be well understood. Matt talks about biking to work and writing a bad novel. For others, it can be trying out a new vegetable (or a new beer) for lunch everyday. It can be learning to dance Zumba. Whatever floats your boat – just as long as its something new.