The fifth principle of lean is to “pursue perfection through continuous improvement” and this is often achieved by holding Kaizen (continuous improvement) events.
Earlier in 2008 researchers in the States discovered that when we consciously develop new habits, which Kaizen events encourage us to do, we create parallel synaptic paths, and even entirely new brain cells, that can jump our trains of thought onto new, innovative tracks. Indeed the more new things we try the more innovative we become both inside and outside work.
The article, Can You Become a Creature of New Habits, from the NY Times sets out how small changes can make us more innovative and actually suggests Kaizen as a process to follow.
Proof, perhaps, that Lean isn’t just great for business, it’s great for the mind!
(This article was published earlier in 2008 but it has only just been highlighted to us, we thought it was very useful and that it would be a shame not to share it!)