Recently, a client asked “What is the most important question you can ask yourself to have a higher level of productivity?” The answer is simple: By asking yourself: CANI. This acronym (or mnemonic) stands for Constant And Never-ending Improvement.
It was Tony Robbins who invented this acronym, but it was Dr. W. Edwards Deming who invented the principle. He taught it to the Japanese after World War II. They use the word ‘Kaizen’ which means constant improvement.
When you ask yourself ‘How can I constantly improve myself’, you will look for better quality methods to make things better.
It really is related to a former blogpost about evaluation. By constantly evaluating what you just did, say, write etc, you are in fact asking yourself “how can I do better? How can I improve myself, this method, this work?”
In Japan the word Kaizen is used constantly. Not only for business, but for everything in life. For relationships, for health, for learning etc etc. It is a principle that is used daily: you cannot do it once in a while. It wouldn’t have any effect.
But by applying it in every aspect of your life, on a daily basis, you can see dramatic changes. In his book Awaken the Giant within, Tony Robbins states: “The Japanese even have a saying: “If a man has not been seen for three days, his friends should take a good look at him, and see what changes have befallen him”.
Improvement can be a very daunting, very intimidating. With Kaizen it isn’t about Big Hairy Audacious Goals, but about small improvements. It doesn’t look so intimidating now, does it? You think you can make a small improvement of 1%? Of course! By improving only 1% every day, you’ll be amazed by the results you can achieve over the long term. By constantly making small improvements in your habits, your methods, or whatever it is you want to make better, you’ll not only experience better results, but you’ll also feel better, because you’ll have constant successes.
Try it out, but remember: do it CONSTANT!