How Can a Kaizen Mindset Help Advance Your Agile Organization?

Updated: Apr 5


The Secret Sauce to Advance in an Organization


There are two stories that are worth sharing when you are on the look-out for real results of a continuous improvement mindset. These two have at the core of their successful operating system the Kaizen mindset. We will read briefly about Toyota and Danaher, the two companies that made a “change for the better philosophy” the center of their base of operations.


Not by accident, these companies are intertwined, Toyota apart from being one of the leaders in the Automotive industry for decades is also a company that exports the Toyota production system to other companies who are willing to go through a Lean Implementation. Danaher was the first of the pioneering companies that took this challenge decades ago, and now they provide the Danaher Business System (DBS)as a service. DBS, is a model or guidance new companies use to drive their performance significantly. This is why Danaher defines itself as a company that builds companies. Danahen is the first example of Lean and Japanese-style Kaizen happening in America.



The Culture Behind Kaizen and Lean


Kaizen is a Japanese word that means “Change for the Better” and at its core beliefs that are adaptability (change is good), search for perfection, and respect for people. Lean culture is defined by the belief that people are the most important asset. Also, a true Lean company is to maximize value creation based on what the customer perceives as valuable. As well as, elimination of waste in the business process (anything that becomes overburden, uneven, unnecessary), and finally Kaizen.


Kaizen has been at the core of the culture that changed the stories of great-achieving companies such as Toyota and Danahen. In Agile, we see how Southerland included Kaizen in the Agile ceremonies within the retrospective system whose sole purpose is to find out “what is that change that we can start today that would make our Sprint better?”.


If you are interested in how to make your Agile organizations more powerful, check out this video! Start understanding what Kaizen is and how intertwined it is with the Agile mindset.


Key topics:

  • Ricardo Villega’s Personal Intro Origins

  • Toyota and Danaher

  • What made the difference

  • Understanding what Lean is

  • The culture behind Lean and Kaizen

  • Understanding the Culture behind Lean and Kaizen

  • Understanding Kaizen

  • Cultural changes

  • Principles behind the Agile Manifesto


Watch the full meeting here:



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