Robert Maurer - One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way
By Robert Maurer
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Introducing the practical and inspirational guide to incorporating Kaizen and its powerful principles into one's daily life. Rooted in the two thousand-year-old wisdom of the Tao Te Ching--"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"--Kaizen is the art of making great and lasting change through small, steady increments. Kaizen is the tortoise versus the hare. Kaizen is the eleven Fortune 500 companies that significantly outperformed the market through moderate, step-by-step actions. Kaizen is losing weight not by a crash diet (which more often than not crashes) but by eating one bite less at each meal--then, a month later, eating two bites less. Kaizen is starting a life-changing exercise program by standing--just standing--on a treadmill for one minute a day.
Written by an expert on Kaizen--Dr. Robert Maurer, a psychologist on the staff at the UCLA medical school who speaks and consults nationally--One Small Step is the gentle but potent way to effect change. Beginning by outlining the all-important role that fear plays in all types of change--and Kaizen's ability to circumvent it--Dr. Maurer then explains the 7 Small Steps: how to Think Small Thoughts, Take Small Actions, Solve Small Problems, and more. He shows how to perform mind sculpture--visualizing virtual change so that real change comes more naturally. Why small rewards motivate better than big rewards. How great discoveries are made by paying attention to the little details most of us overlook. Hundreds of examples of Kaizen at work grace the book, as well as quotes from W. Edwards Deming (who brought Kaizen to Japanese industry), Peter Drucker, coach John Wooden, and others.
By Michael Erisman
How the science of Quality can change your life
The philosophy of small can produce big results. The topic of this book is how the big things in your life, your business, your relationships are really no more than a series of very small things. The key to change is the ability to make the minute course corrections over time, not big changes all at once.
The book starts with some great examples of how our mindset typically works when faced with major change or obstacles. We freeze. We are unable to grasp the enormity of what is required and therefore have less likelihood of success. The strategy is then in breaking the situation down to smaller segments and executing them. For example, anyone can exercise three minutes a day. Now by itself this won't change your life, but what if three turns into ten, ten into twenty, twenty into thirty? Now major change is underway.
The other essential element to this approach is the ability to understand root causes. This is a critical step in any Quality effort in business, but is also just as relevant and perhaps more important in life. Start by asking small questions. These will eventually lead to the root or core issues to be addressed.
The other sections lead from these basic premises. Take small actions, for example. Once the problem or change desired is broken down into smaller segments, don't try to change all at once. Take small steps and watch them grow. I think a big reason this is so difficult to do, is that many of us hard charging type-A types lack the patience to allow change to happen through the one step at a time mindset, and want to rush it all at once. We do so often with faster results that over time achieve less, and therefore in the end are in fact slower than if we were patient to begin with.
I found this book to be very enlightening. It presents wisdom that is common sense, yet rarely acted upon. I have tried several of the techniques and found them to be very helpful. I recommend this book highly. A small investment that could pay off in a big way.