Everything can and should be improved ‒ look for opportunities.


Continuous Improvement Firm (CIF) CIF Implementation Kaikaku (Radical Improvement) Kaizen (Continuous Incremental Improvements) Customer-focused TQM Kaizen and TQM 3 Pillars of Kaizen Continuous Imprivement Culture: Japan vs. the West Vadim Kotelnikov Kaizen Best Practices CIF Best Practices Amazing Thinker Kaizen Implementation Principles Suggestion Systems 7 Conditions for Successful Implementation of Kaizen Strategt Kaizen Culture: 8 Elements Kaizen Continuous Imprrovement Firm (CIF): Mindset, Culture, Systems

Continuous Improvement Firm (CIF) Defined

CIF is a firm continuously improving on customer value due to improvements in productivity initiated by the members of the general work force. Productivity in CIF is broadly defined to include all facets of product quality as well as output per worker. A basic operating principle of the CIF is that improvements in product quality often produce simultaneous reductions in costs.

The key success factor in this endogenous, incremental and continuous technological and operational change is the organization and management of the firm in such a way that all members are motivated to promote change and are supported in their effort to do so. What is remarkable about the CIF is its ability to operate simultaneously in all innovation areas: new products, new technology, new organizational forms, and new customer relationship management.

Winning Corporate Culture

Areas Targeted by TQM in Japan


Kaizen Culture: 8 Key Elements

Implementing Kaizen: 7 Conditions


3 Basic Principles of Continuous Improvement

❶ Challenge   
❸ Go and See 


Kaizen means "improvement".

Kaizen strategy calls for never-ending efforts for improvement involving everyone in the organization – managers and workers alike... More

5 Principles of Kaizen

Use 80/20 Analysis to Pinpoint Improvement Areas

Business is wasteful. 80/20 Principle asserts that 80% of what is important is supported by 20% of effort. You can eliminate 80% of waste by spending only 20% of what it would cost you to get rid of 100% of the waste... More

Kaikaku and Kaizen Kaizen Kaizen Mindset 10 Kaikaku Commandments Kore 10 Kaikaku Tips Master of Business Synergies (MBS) Personal Branding KAIZEN and KAIKAKU - Yin and Yang - Continuous Improvement Synergy


Continuous Improvement Mindset

Radical Improvement: 10 Tips



A Source of Growth

Continuous improvement is the main source of growth for:

  • Industries that reached the market and technological maturity; low rates of market expansion or only replacement demand encourages these firms to restrict innovation to incremental improvements in the same core technology.

  • Organizations that cannot pursue more aggressive venture strategies as they have to follow some restricting bureaucratic rules and regulations.

Arguments for Adopting the Incrementalist Perspective

  • The future is unknown and unknowable

  • External forces are too powerful to be controlled by organizations or their managers

  • Managers cannot enforce adherence to their plans

Key Features of the CIF

compared with Mass Production (MP) firms

CIF and Total Quality Management ( TQM)

two different perspectives of the same phenomenon

  • The CIF Perspective – the organization itself in all its integrity, full-blown, operating and practicing the total quality management (TQM) approaches

  • The TQM Perspective – the beliefs and practices required of management to bring about and perpetuate a continuous improvement firm (CIF)

8 Best Practices of Successful Companies

Manage processes, not people. Focus not on what they do, but on how they do it.

Use techniques (like "process mapping" and "benchmarking") to achieve continuous improvement.

Value incremental gains.... More

Kaizen and Kaikaku

Kaizen is evolutionary, focused on incremental improvements.

Kaikaku is revolutionary, focused on radical improvements  >>>

Assess Your Organization's Progress Toward Excelling in

Business Process Management11

  • The entire set of enterprise business processes are being managed for improved performance.

  • The full set of customer-touching processes is being managed for continuous improvement... More

CIF versus Mass Production (MP) Firms

The ultimate competitive goal of the CIF is the ability to produce consumer goods on a custom basis for immediate delivery at costs lower than those featured by standard MP firms. The key to achieving this flexibility and lower costs lies in the generalization of the work force... More 


The 5S Program defines the steps that are used to make all work spaces efficient and productive, help people share work stations, reduce time looking for needed tools and improve the work environment... More

Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma

Lean Enterprise: 10 Tips

Lean manufacturing, supplemented by Six Sigma principles, can help your company attain the goal of continuous improvement – but only when embraced as a core corporate philosophy and rooted in the corporate culture. Management slogans often boil down to little more than platitudes in slick consultancy packaging. But some corporate lingo stands for more than a passing fad.10 "Lean manufacturing", a shorthand for a commitment to eliminating waste, simplifying procedures and speeding up production, is one such concept. Six Sigma, the quality-assurance principles that are often integrated with lean production and  enterprise-wide process management efforts, is another. The principles and techniques that the two terms encompass deliver impressive bottom-line results in industrial manufacturing. 

Example of a Truly Lean Value Chain

Case Studies Dell Inc.

"Constantly question – even the good stuff," advises Michael Dell, Founder of Dell Inc.. "There's no better way to improve. And don't try to cover up bad news or deny difficult problems. Time is everything – the sooner you deal with an issue, the sooner it's resolved."...  More

4 WHYs of True Success

Business e-Coach Fun4Biz Suggestion System

Innovative IT-powered Fun4Biz suggestion system focuses on improving people. It’s all about attitude motivation, achievement, continuous growth, transparency, recognition and involvement... More

Case Studies AVIS

In 1963, Avis Rent A Car System, Inc. debuted a new advertising campaign that featured a brand-new tagline – "We Try Harder." For Avis, the tagline is more than a slogan – it has become part of the fabric of the company that both reflects and influences corporate values values and business decisions... More

Case Studies GE Work-Out

Ultimately, the goal of the Work-Out program was to "clean up" GE, to make workers more productive and processes simpler and more clear-cut. Work-Out was also designed to reduce, and ultimately eliminate all of the waste hours and energy that large organizations typically expend in performing day-to-day operations... More





CIF Implementation

3 Basic Principles    CIF vs. MP    PDSA Cycle

Using 80/20 Principle  >> Top 10 Business Applications

Cross-functional Management (CFM)

Manufacturing Strategies Used by US and Japanese Companies

Suggestion Systems

Japanese-style    Fun4Biz


Kaizen Mindset    Quick and Easy Kaizen

Kaizen Implementation Principles >> 7 Conditions

Kaizen-Kaikaku Synergy    10 Kakaku Commandments

Kaizen and Innovation    Glossary   Quotes

Kaizen Culture

8 Elements  ●  No-Blame Culture    Japan vs. West

Winning Organization

Balanced Organization: 5 Basic Elements

Employee Empowerment

Empowerment vs. Delegation    10 Steps    Getting Employees Involved: 9 Ways

GE Work-Out

Goals    5 Targeted Dimensions of Growth

7 Steps    5 Sessions    Success Stories

Value Chain Management

Efficiency Improvement    ICT-powered Value Chain

Business Process Management System (BPMS)    Service-Profit Chain


Lean Production

Just-in-Time (JIT) >> JIT Implementation

3 Broad Types of Waste    7 Wastes

Quality Management

Total Quality Management (TQM)

Customer-focused TQM    Deming's 14 Point Plan for TQM

Kaizen and TQM >> 14 TQM Slogans at Pentel, Japan

Six Sigma

Lessons from Winners

CIF    Kaizen

The Toyota Way: 14 Principles    Toyota Production System

GE Work-Out    Canon    Fidelity Investments    Infosys





  1. "Competitive Manufacturing Management", John M. Nicholas

  2. The 80/20 Principle, Richard Koch

  3. "Wholesale Changes", Carol Casper

  4. "The Basics of Leadership", Merlin Ricklefs

  5. "Six Sigma", Mikel Harry and Richard Schroeder

  6. "Direct from Dell", Michael Dell with Catherine Fredman

  7. "TQM - Creating a Continuously Improving Organisation", W.E. Cole and J.W. Mogab

  8. "Making a Difference", Bruce Nixon

  9. "Business Process Management", Howard Smith and Peter Fingar

  10. "The Lean Journey:" White Paper by Oracle Corporation

  11. "Beyond Process Maturity to Process Competence," Andrew Spanyi

  12. "Kaizen: The Key To Japan's Competitive Success," Masaaki Imai

  13. "Gemba Kaizen: A Commonsense, Low-Cost Approach to Management," Masaaki Imai

  14. "Lean Manufacturing That Works", Bill Carreira

  15. "Toyota Production System," Taiichi Ohno