I just recently learned about the Japanese concept of kaizen, which refers to constant improvement. It's kaizen to prune your bonsai tree little by little into the most pleasing shape, for example. And it's kaizen that drives electronics manufacturers to put out a new phone every six months.
Kaizen has, apparently, become a buzz word in business circles. There are consulting companies dedicated to kaizen as a sort of optimization of employee efficiency: Are your employees constantly improving? How do you know? Measure their gains to foster kaizen!
It's sad but not surprising to me that a concept like kaizen has morphed from the peaceful, meditative act of steadily improving something like a bonsai, a little at a time, into a business practice to measure efficiency.
So when I say that kaizen is something we at Quinstance strive for, please know that I mean it in the most positive, calm sense: we want to be better for you every day. We walk around to make the store look better. We continually dream up events and promotions that we hope will engage and inspire you. We scout out new products and new vendors and develop relationships with them, so that we can show it to you.
The new year feels like a good time for renewing our commitment to kaizen. What will you decide to focus on to achieve your kaizen? I'd love to hear in the comments or by email!