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Volume 7 · Issue 5 · May 2002

Contents 

Page 33…

The Improvement Corner: Don’t Confuse Innovation With Improvement!

Stewart Anderson writes that leading Japanese organizations have learned how to manage variation out of their businesses through frequent, small and incremental improvements achieved on a large scale via the mass participation of their employees. Anderson explores the Japanese notion of kaizen improvements, the Western notion of innovation and how they interact with a QMS. At its heart, kaizen means knowing when to eliminate, reduce or change an activity. In Japanese firms, kaizen is every employee’s job.