Kaizen(改善) was created in Japan following World War II. The word Kaizen means “continuous improvement”. It comes from the Japanese words 改 (“kai”) which means “change” or “to correct” and 善 (“zen”) which means “good”.

This is a story of a higher secondary student named Ankita who is from a school in India. She has done a good kaizen which proved to be a simple solution to her problem. Every time pins in the stapler get finished, we are caught unaware. This problem has been faced by most of us. Ankita was sitting and stapling some papers one day when suddenly the staple pins finished.  Her father asked her why she didn’t know that they were about to finish? He asked her to think of a way to ensure that the next time she knows beforehand that the staples were coming to an end.  This got Ankita thinking. She came up with the idea to paint the last three staple pins with nail polish. But the paint was too thick. Then she substituted that by using a permanent marker and that worked well. This worked well and it helped in indicating that the pins were coming to an end. It saved on time and was easily adaptable at no extra cost.

Learning:  Such simple kaizens can solve many problems in our day to day working. Think positive and look around your work stations, you will find many opportunities for improvement.