Kaizen. Why you need this word to move your career forward


It’s amazing where one can find inspiration.

Last week, while in line for a coffee, I met a beautiful woman and we started talking as women do while waiting for coffee.

Our conversation landed on our children.

As mothers, our role is to unlock the limitless potential of our children. To find it, nurture it and develop it.

She told me a story which resonated with me. She has two gorgeous school aged children.

When they come home from school, she doesn’t ask them how great was their day or what was the best thing that happened to them.

She asks them, what challenges they faced and what did they learn.

I love that.

So happens that last week, I was speaking at my old university and I had some of my team with me in the audience.

During our team debrief I asked them the following questions

1)    What did I do well?

2)    How can I improve?

3)    What should I stop, start and continue doing?

Three simple questions which can transform you and your career.


It’s focusing on continuous improvement. The Japanese call it Kaizen, which is small continual movements, forward facing. Each day, each time improving on what you are doing.

So how does this relate back to your career?

Question, are you moving forward or are you stagnant?

Are you growing, stretching and reaching towards your limitless potential?

I challenge you, take a moment, and self-reflect. Ask yourself these questions.

What did I do well?

What could I do better?

Whether you have completed a project, pitched a deal, made a sales call, dealt with a difficult customer, take the opportunity to reflect on how you can improve.

It doesn’t matter how many times you have done something.

For over a decade I worked as a recruiter. Every single day, I had to pick up the phone and cold call clients. Every single call I made, I learnt something.

When you think you have nothing left to learn, you are dead.