Teaching the Japanese ‘Kaizen’ philosophy of successful business

November 12, 2020

Image: UNDP Uzbekistan

On November 10-13, a training programme on ‘KAIZEN Basics’ has been held for 30 entrepreneurs from the Bozatau, Karauzyak and Chimbay districts of Karakalpakstan, teaching a unique Japanese approach used by managers of various forms of enterprises to organize their production and economic activities. This training has been organized within the joint UNDP and UNFPA project ‘Building the resilience of local communities against health, environmental and economic insecurities caused by environmental destruction in the Aral Sea region’, as funded by the Japanese government. 

“Kaizen” is a Japanese word meaning “good change”, describing continuous improvement of all corporate functions, across all levels of hierarchy. This practice was first introduced into Japanese factories throughout the post-war period, and has since then been adopted in factories around the world. Kaizen Lean Manufacturing Technology is a complex concept, which encompasses philosophy, theory and management tools. It allows a business to attain a competitive advantage at whatever stage it is currently operating at.

This training programme is being led by specialists who can provide a full range of assistance in helping business owners master the concept of lean manufacturing. Participants will become acquainted with the KAIZEN concept, methodologies and tools, which are currently being utilized to great effect by some of the world’s leading and most successful businesses. 

The target audience for this training includes micro and small enterprises, each with fewer than ten employees, operating across various parts of the economy and selling a range of products including agricultural goods, medicines, textiles and others. It is important to note that 30% to 40% of the participants in each part of the programme are women.  

The training on the ‘Basics of KAIZEN’ will assist local entrepreneurs in increasing their business management skills for operating small and medium enterprises (SMEs), in rural parts of districts of the Karakalpakstan region. Introducing the KAIZEN methodology to SME managers and owners will help them increase their productivity, create new directions of growth, better define their business plans in line with the methodology, and ensure the sustainability of their business activities.