December 2014 | No. 02/2014

Dear Sir or Madam,

Founded in 1985, Kaizen Institute will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year. During this significant anniversary year, we’ll launch several activities so stay tuned in! More information will follow beginning in March in the 2015 newsletters and also on our webpage.

Please find in this edition an introduction to our anniversary year, an article about the 30-year Journey of Kaizen Institute. We hope you enjoy reading this months addition and that you all have a prosperous New Year.

The 30-year Journey of Kaizen Institute

Kaizen Institute 30 years

It has been 30 years since Masaaki Imai wrote "Kaizen: The Key to Japan’s Competitive Success (McGraw Hill 1986)”, and the founding of Kaizen Institute. Future historians will no doubt mark this date in 1986 as one of the turning points in the progression of quality, productivity, and labour-management relations. Indeed, we believe that KAIZEN, along with information technology and the globalization of supply chains and services, are the top three economic innovations of the 20th century and these will have made a lasting positive effect on the world economy into succeeding centuries. Read more>>.


Masaaki Imai visited Zehnder in Switzerland and Oetiker in Germany in October

Kaizen Institute Compay Visist

On Thursday October 16, 2014 Zehnder Group in Gränichen, Switzerland received a visit from one of the pioneers of modern business’ operational excellence, Masaaki Imai, founder of the Kaizen Institute. Read more>>.

The following day Masaaki Imai visited together with two Kaizen Institute consultants the Hans Oetiker Production Plant in Endingen, Germany. Read more>>.

Recently Kaizen institute renewed and extended the existing contract with Oetiker. The scope of work will be focused from 2015 on training and in-house workshops and involve the following 6 countries: Canada, USA, China, India, Germany, Switzerland and Spain. The project will start with a health check of all sites operated by Oetiker, followed by health checks through the local teams.


Kaizen Institute’s business operations offered numerous worldwide congresses

KI Conferences 2014

In October and November 2014 Kaizen Institute’s business operations offered several KAIZEN Congresses including Poland, Italy, the Netherlands and Chile. Main topic of all congresses was the successful implementation of KAIZEN tools and methodologies. More than 650 participants joined the congresses, over 25 exceptional lectures were held and more than 30 well-known companies participated.

Please find more about the KAIZEN Congresses here:

Poland; “GEMBAKAIZEN Congress”>> 
Italy; “KAIZEN 2.0 – Reflections and new tools for continuous improvement and innovation”>> 
The Netherlands; “KAIZEN Round Table Conference”>> 
Chile; “1st International KAIZEN Lean Summit – Chile 2014”>>


Kaizen Institute India has been engaged by BMW factory Chennai

Our business operation in India has been engaged by BMW factory Chennai, India to support the deployment of its internal VPS program which is modelled on the KAIZEN/lean principles. Kaizen Institute India will train and coach their team members. BMW stands for high Quality and we are proud to be selected as BMW training partners.


Kaizen Institute led a very successful Healthcare Tour in November

Kaizen Institute Benchmark Tours stories Japan

The week of November 17, Kaizen Institute led a very successful study tour across Japan, visiting organizations in the Nagoya, Fukuoka, and Tokyo areas.

The tour was led by Christian Wolcott, a Senior Consultant for Kaizen Institute USA, and was co-facilitated by our guest Mark Graban, author of the books “Lean Hospitals (Productivity Press, 2nd edition, 2011)“ and “Healthcare Kaizen (Productivity Press, 2011)”. Eighteen physicians and healthcare executives from seven countries across four continents participated.

Read the trip highlights>> as well as an interview with Christian Wolcott>> and watch also the local press coverage>>


The KAIZEN Public Tour – Kyushi 2014 was a great success

Kaizen Tours stories

The KAIZEN Public Tour – Kyushu 2014 in Japan on October 19-25, 2014 was a great success. Fourteen participants representing different industries from all over the world joined the tour. Read more>> and watch the Tour video>>.


Riyadh City Skyline

Kaizen Institute’s History of Insight Tours in Japan and a review of its entrance into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Women Only Education Market

In March 2016, some of Kaizen Institute's selected female consultants and directors visited one of our newer Business Units in Riyadh & Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 

Kaizen Institute originally started its operations in 1985, helping torganizations around the world.  But even prior to this official establishment in Switzerland, we had trained many people who visited Japan to learn KAIZEN™ through one of our offerings that is still running today… a service we call KAIZEN™ Insight Tours. 

Over the years, we have been providing consulting and training services to all industry sectors, many governments and non-profits alike.  KAIZEN™ having its roots from the Toyota Production System (TPS) was primarily utilized in production processes in the earlier days, based on the methods of JIT (Just-In-Time) and Jidoka. Now, it is well known that KAIZEN™ can be applied to any process and business function.  Furthermore, KAIZEN™ will not be successfully implemented if we do not work holistically, with an organizational-wide approach, to change the culture of everyone within the work place, everywhere and everyday.

Visiting the Female Sector within Saudi Arabia, was a new experience for those that supported, considering that today's Kaizen Institute does not have any female consultants working in Saudi Arabia…..yet.  The team successfully reached out to some female Universities in both Riyadh and Jeddah and we were able to share various KAIZEN™ success stories, specifically within the educational sector, and discussed how we help and support organizations around the world.  This was highly encouraging and fulfilling that many people already have the understanding of continuous improvement and know about various tools.  The desire of these ladies wanting to work better and accomplish more would be one of the most important ingredients for the success of KAIZEN™, and we all were very much excited to help this female sector within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia grow more efficient, by practicing KAIZEN™ with everyone, everywhere… everyday.

The KI teams returned to their home countries being more energized than ever before and look forward to returning soon.

KAIZEN French Tour – Japan 2015

Kaizen French Tour Japan

The Tour will take place from March 1-7, 2015. It is offered in French language and is a perfect combination of site visits, networking with other lean minded professionals, and learning of Japanese management, methodologies, tools and culture. You will visit Toyota, Honda and more, and profit from a lecture by a professor with 25 years of working at a Toyota Supplier. For registration please check the French Tour registration page or if you would like to know more then take a look into the Brochure KAIZEN French Tour >>.


Yours sincerely, Ulrich Wolfers
Marketing & Brand Management
Global Operations

Kaizen Institute Consulting Group, Ltd.
Bahnhofplatz, 6300 Zug, Switzerland