A year ago I visited the trendy management philosophy called kaizen. If you have been in the workplace lately, your know about kaizen. It is Japanese and therefore good. Ever since the Japanese conquered the world of manufactured products, everything Japanese is automatically deemed as good. If you associate Toyota and Sony with quality then, of course you want to adopt Japanese techniques- like kaizen.
Not so fast!
Kaizen is the process of gradual improvement. It means tedious refinement of something until is it beyond good and even beyond exceptional. We have been conditioned to expect perfection but there are consequences to seeking perfection by continuous improvement.
Perfection is boring!
An Outrageous Retirement Lifestyle isn’t perfect!
There may be a place for continuous improvement in business but I suggest that if you want your retirmenet to rock, you forget kaizen. Don’t just improve the boring stuff you already know. Get out of the rut. Take some chances and shake things up. What you get for your retirment lifestyle may not have the boring reliability of a Toyota. You want the excitement of a Maserati. Those Italians may nut understand quality control but there sure understand that driving a car is supposed to be fun. You may hit some bumps and make some wrong turns if you stop lining your rut like kaizen encourages, but when they write your obituary, they will know that you knew how to live and you will be smiling all the way to the finish line.