By Jon Miller | Post Date: December 23, 2008 12:20 PM | Comments: 1
We have seen the effects of kaizan ranging from the subprime loan crisis to the resulting exposure and collapse of various investment funds turning out to be little better than Ponzi schemes, the collapse or restructuring of overly leveraged investments propped up by the promise of future returns, to major industrialized economies whose currencies are based on the faith in their ability to borrow and pay back our debts on earnings fueled by future consumption. A close study of the very basis of today's economies leads us to some frightening conclusions about the definition of Ponzi schemes...
Kaizan is nothing new. The first dishonest financial act was no doubt came immediately after the invention of the notion of currency, if not of trade itself. What is different about kaizan these days is that the swindles have become much larger, global in scale even, with adverse knock-on effects we are only beginning to understand. The ability of acts of kaizan to affect a much greater number of people creates an urgent need for kaizen - continuous improvement of the system - if not outright kaikaku: revolutionary change. If visual management is a good thing for businesses to detect abnormalities earlier and contain potential problems while they are small, an even greater degree of visibility and transparency would seem to be vital for the financial business in the future.
Henry Ford said, "A business that makes nothing but money is a poor kind of business." We have too many businesses in the world that make money by adding no value to the customer, and like all schemes they will be exposed as kaizan sooner or later. If all you do is make money using money, the temptation to kaizan is very strong while the need to kaizen is very low. If you are managing complex logistics chains, equipment, facilities, manual and automated processes, and the interaction of all of this with people, there is great need to do kaizen and relatively less time and opportunity to kaizan. Without making hasty judgments about the virtues of the financial services industry, it seems that professionals in the field, those who regulate them and their customers could benefit from a careful study of the very important difference between kaizan and kaizen.Comments are moderated to filter spam and inappropriate content. There may be a delay before your comment is published.