Embracing Kaizen: The Japanese Philosophy Transforming Personal and Business Success

Kaizen Philosophy

Embracing Kaizen: The Japanese Philosophy Transforming Personal and Business Success

Japan is globally renowned for its high-quality exports such as automobiles, computer components, and electrical machinery. Yet, the country’s most influential exports may not be physical goods, but rather, its unique lifestyle philosophies. Ideals like ikigai, omoiyari, omotenashi and misogi, which emphasize purpose, patience and mutual respect, offer a pathway to a more fulfilling life. These principles are not merely fashionable concepts found in travel brochures; they can significantly enhance your personal life, from your relationships to your physical health and even your daily workflow.

Take the concept of omoiyari, which encourages empathy and compassion towards others. This philosophy is reflected in the Japanese practice of returning lost wallets more frequently than anywhere else globally and the custom of Japanese soccer players cleaning locker rooms before departing, sometimes even leaving behind origami cranes as a gesture of goodwill.

Among these philosophies, one of the most enduring is kaizen, a principle that advocates for continuous improvement. This article will delve into how embracing kaizen can help you achieve your personal and professional goals.

Kaizen is not a new concept. The philosophy was popularized by Massaki Imai, a successful businessman who passed away last summer at age 92. Imai’s illustrious career included working as an interpreter in the U.S., attending Tokyo University, and founding Japan’s leading executive recruiting firm, Cambridge Research Institute, in the early 1960s. He was instrumental in promoting kaizen during Japan’s post-World War II industrial growth period.

Kaizen’s essence is continuous improvement. In the business world, companies like Toyota have embraced this principle for years, using it to drive continuous growth. This process involves identifying problems, generating ideas, testing solutions repeatedly in a clean and organized workspace that prioritizes service and safety. Kaizen fosters gradual improvement, encourages teamwork and stimulates passion for the work.

Although kaizen may seem like a corporate utopia, it has practical applications in personal life. For instance, if you’re wondering how to choose the best standing desk, kaizen encourages you to continuously seek improvement, whether it’s in terms of ergonomics, functionality or aesthetics.

The philosophy of kaizen is not as daunting as it may initially appear. It aligns with the central principle of James Clear’s bestseller Atomic Habits, which advises readers to aim for a 1% improvement each day. Eric Platte, Vice President of Global Operations for the Atlanta Hawks, wrote an insightful LinkedIn essay on this topic, linking kaizen to the 4% rule – the idea that a single hour represents just 4% of your day. This rule encourages us to use each hour purposefully and view it as part of a larger journey.

Kaizen is about making small, consistent improvements each day. Whether your goal is to earn a degree, become a better swimmer or save for a down payment on a house, kaizen encourages you to make the most of your time and never take it for granted.

To begin your kaizen journey, identify areas in your life that need improvement. Be honest with yourself and seek feedback from others. Research experts in the field and connect with them if possible. This process may not be easy, but the gradual nature of kaizen ensures that you have time to make changes, improve and grow at your own pace.

So, whether you’re looking to improve your health benefits of an electric stand up desk or striving to be a better version of yourself, the Japanese philosophy of kaizen offers a practical and manageable approach to personal improvement.

author avatar
Guy Director
Higher Diploma in Mechanical Engineering. Ergomotion Director since 2005.

Google Reviews


Google Reviews

Andrew Pieterse 14/06/24

Great service and really quick shipping. It is great to know that you are getting quality parts from a Scandinavian manufacturer with your standing desk purchase rather than the cheap knock off stuff you get from other major brands. Reasonably priced for the quality too!

Janette Clarke 20/05/24

Guy was very accommodating with meeting him at a time that suited me. He assembled the desk prior to me collecting so I only had to carry it inside with help (it's pretty heavy). The desk is great, the storage racks underneath with the 6 x built in powerpoints was worth the extra money. I have a functioning & tidy workplace.
Guy was brilliant, I highly recommend.

Nickel 10/05/24

Have now purchased 2 stand up office desks off Guy, benchmark sales service from him, all via email, so easy; from quote to plug in, only matched by the strong quality of these machines, solid and stable. If only everything in life was this easy and reliable.

Jennifer Fadriquela 23/03/24

I purchased an EDesk this month from Ergomotion, and it was a remarkably smooth transaction. Guy was eager to answer all my questions before my purchase. As a first-time buyer of a standing desk, I truly appreciated how he addressed my queries with thorough details and provided options within my budget.

The delivery process was also smooth, despite a slight delay in the ETA. Guy ensured I received all necessary updates from the courier/removalist.

I've been using the desk for a couple of weeks now and I'm satisfied with it. It's sturdy on all height adjustments and the motor works as expected. I also like oak finish because it's clean-looking and suits my room setup.

Overall, I'm happy with my purchase and I'll definitely recommend Ergomotion to someone looking for their desk needs.

Josh Oliver 04/02/24

I've had an ergomotion desk for 10 years. It's still as good today as it was brand new. Over the years Guy has always responded promptly to any guidance I've needed (mostly help putting the desk back together after removalists take it apart).

Michael Cheung 18/01/24

Great service from Guy and the team at Ergomotion! Helped with all my queries and was able to source a standing desk part for me when many others weren't able! Highly recommend!

Shao Lei 30/11/23

Decent desk and awesome service. Highly recommend

Rod Hathway 10/11/23

Awesome experience. Great value, super customer experience, ordered, assembled and picked up in 24 hours!

Dom K 06/11/23

Skip the big name brands and buy from Guy instead, 10/10 linak parts with a very well built tabletop.

Chris Wu 06/11/23

I purchased the edesk from Guy at Ergomotion. Guy was a pleasure to deal with and the desk arrived the next day. Guy was highly knowledgeable on the desk and provided very prompt support on the installation. I can highly recommend Ergomotion.