A Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working group practices, personal efficiency etc.
This sino-Japanese word simply means ‘to change for the better’, with no inherent meaning of either ‘continuous’ or ‘philosophy’ in Japanese dictionaries or in every day use.
Made up of 2 words
Kai meaning Change &
Zen meaning Good
According to the website uk.kaizen.com kaizen is
‘the practice of continuous improvement. The concept was originally introduced to the West my Masasking Imai aiming in his book Kaizen: The key to Japan’s Competitive Success, in 1986. Today, kaizen is recognised worldwide as an important pillar of an organisations long-term competitive strategy’
Now, long term progression has been at the centre of sports performance for as long as there has been sports….it’s kinda the point of coaching.
The power of marginal gains has become the holy grail, finding that edge that makes the difference between Gold and Silver, between qualifying and missing out.
But there is still a lot that sports can learn from principles like Kaizen.
Our sport, swimming, in Ireland, is run by professional people paid to oversee the development of the club throughout the country from regional through to international level and also maintain a participation and a masters level.
However, the day to day running of our clubs is done by a committee of parents and, in the majority of cases, a team of volunteer or semi professional coaches.
If we are to take our clubs, and therefore our port, forwards we must get the bUK in of these incredibly dedicated people who are involved because of their love for swimming.
In some cases this could result in a few awkward conversations about how things are done and the need for improvements.
Till next time