The Storm: A Leadership Booklet and Blog #12

THE STORM Chapter 12: Kaizen

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy


Why This Matters: Chapter 12, “Kaizen,” delves into the origins and essence of the Japanese philosophy, emphasizing constant and never-ending improvement. Granddaddy’s insights, drawn from the post-war recovery of Japan and the impact on businesses like Toyota, highlight the transformative power of small improvements. The chapter challenges readers to embrace the philosophy of Kaizen not only in business but also in personal development, setting the stage for a deliberate and systematic pursuit of excellence.

Essential Question for Readers: “How does the philosophy of Kaizen, as explained by Granddaddy, inspire a commitment to constant and never-ending improvement in all aspects of life, and how can the concept of CANDI (Constant and Never-ending Deliberate Improvement) guide our deliberate and systematic pursuit of excellence?”


Chapter Summary

In Chapter 12 of “Kaizen,” Granddaddy explains the origins and essence of Kaizen, a Japanese philosophy meaning “change is good” or “self-changing for the best of all.” He elaborates on how Kaizen was ingrained in Japanese culture after World War II, emphasizing a commitment to constant and never-ending improvement in all aspects of life.

Granddaddy recounts how Dr. Deming, an American statistician, played a crucial role in introducing Kaizen to Japan. Deming’s focus on small improvements leading to increased productivity resonated with Japanese executives and engineers, contributing significantly to Japan’s post-war recovery. The concept gained traction, and by 1951, the Japanese honored Deming with an award named after him.

Granddaddy further illustrates the impact of Kaizen on businesses like Toyota, highlighting the philosophy’s role in rebuilding Japan’s economy. The emphasis on involving everyone in the improvement process, from management to frontline workers, led to Japan becoming a major industrial power.

Dakota, the protagonist, expresses initial confusion about how Kaizen relates to his teenage life. Granddaddy clarifies that Kaizen isn’t limited to business and can be applied to personal development. He emphasizes that committing to continuous improvement, even in daily life, is essential. Granddaddy draws parallels between Kaizen and the concept of constant and never-ending improvement (CANI) popularized by motivational speaker Anthony Robbins.

The chapter concludes with Granddaddy proposing a new acronym, CANDI (Constant and Never-ending Deliberate Improvement), emphasizing the deliberate and systematic pursuit of excellence. Dakota reflects on the satisfaction derived from committing to improvement, realizing that the security and success gained through personal effort are invaluable and cannot be taken away.



*Constant And Never-ending Deliberate Improvement blog/vlog:

*Constant And Never-ending Improvement video:


Reflection/Journaling: Reflect on your understanding of Kaizen and its application in various aspects of life, not just limited to business or work. Consider instances in your own life where small, continuous improvements have made a significant impact. How does the philosophy of Kaizen align with your personal values and goals? What areas of your life could benefit from a mindset of constant and never-ending improvement?


  1. Identify a specific aspect of your life, whether it’s related to personal development, relationships, or career, where you can apply the principles of Kaizen. Set a goal for continuous improvement in that area, breaking it down into small, manageable steps.
  2. Reflect on your daily habits and routines. Identify one habit that, if improved incrementally, could positively impact your overall well-being. Set a goal to implement small changes in that habit over the next few weeks.
  3. Consider adopting the CANDI (Constant and Never-ending Deliberate Improvement) mindset in your approach to personal and professional growth. Define what deliberate and systematic improvement looks like for you and set measurable milestones.

Next Steps:

  1. Develop a plan for incorporating Kaizen principles into your daily life. This could involve creating a habit tracker, setting reminders for small improvements, or establishing a routine for reflection and adjustment.
  2. Share your commitment to constant and never-ending improvement with a friend or mentor. Discuss your goals and seek feedback on areas where you can refine your approach.
  3. Explore resources and literature on Kaizen to deepen your understanding of the philosophy. Consider reading books or articles that provide practical insights into implementing continuous improvement in various aspects of life.

By setting goals aligned with the principles of Kaizen and adopting the CANDI mindset, you can embark on a deliberate and systematic journey toward excellence in all areas of your life.

Dan Blanchard is a bestselling and award-winning author, speaker, educator, TV Host, and philanthropist.

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