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The Spirit of Kaizen: Creating Lasting Excellence One Small Step at a Time – Robert Maurer

1st July 2020
the spirit of kaizen book cover


Why The Spirit of Kaizen? As I found another book of the author to be helpful, I decided to see what he offers in the business field. Furthermore, I would like to find ways to improve workplace and my leadership skill.


I have written about the author in another article. You can refer to it here.


The Spirit of Kaizen contains 8 chapters and an appendix.

The chapters are 1) A Swift Introduction to Kaizen, 2) Boost Morale, 3) Cut Costs, 4) Improve Quality, 5) Develop New Products and Services, 6) Increase Sales, 7) Reduce Health-Care Expenses, and 8) When Small Steps Are Too Hard: What to Do.

The appendix is Reflections on Kaizen and contains quotes of famous people about small improvements work.


The author mentions that there are two ways to improvement: innovation and kaizen. What are the difference between these two techniques? Innovation requires a radical change, immediate rethink of the status quo while kaizen asks for small, doable steps toward improvement.

By taking small steps, we will be able to bypass the amygdala and the associated fight-or-flight response. That is the reason why it is easier to take action with kaizen than innovation.

Some of the dos recommended by the author include addressing small mistakes before they turn into very big problems, insisting that everyone is responsible for quality to some degree, and building new habits through mental repetition.

One of the don’ts that I remember vividly is asking for suggestions and letting them languish. This action will kill the motivation of the employees to improve.

The author teaches the technique of mental sculpture. This involves imagining performing a task in the mind. With enough practice, we should be able to manifest it into reality.

One skill from the book that I can implement in the workplace now is encouraging the staff to think about their sources of irritation at work. By teasing out the problems and paying some attention to them, I hope that solutions will come naturally as illustrated in the book.

The author puts some questions to ponder upon at the end of chapter from Chapter Two till Seven. By answering these questions, we should be able to improve our work. I did learn a few tricks to continuously improve the workplace and I hope that you will too from reading this book.


  1. Most of us are programmed to resist radical change.
  2. The people who are best able to reduce costs of the job are the people who are actually performing that job.
  3. We mistake simplicity for stupidity.
  4. Creativity is not a cloud, a bolt, or an electric spark.
  5. Resistance in any form – fear, panic, resignation, boredom – is a sign that fears are waking up.


3 out of 3 stars

Interested in The Spirit of Kaizen?

You may get the book from Kinokuniya Malaysia through the link below*.

Get the book here

*Disclosure: The above link is Involve Asia affiliate link. Thus, I may earn a small commission when you purchase the book through this link.

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