The Key to Survival
The Japanese have an approach to creating continuous improvement called ‘kaizen’. This is based on the idea that small, ongoing positive changes can reap significant improvements. Typically, it is based on cooperation and commitment and stands in contrast to approaches that use radical or top-down changes to achieve transformation. It encourages purpose and accountability and promotes innovation.
The above is of course relevant for ABQ and our entire staff, but also for parents and students. We live in a world that is getting ever more competitive, and those who stand still will fall behind. I also believe that ABQ is way past the stages referred to above, with a traditional top-down change to achieve transformation. Therefore, I think that commitment and incremental improvements are what we must all focus on going forward. This means we must all look at what we do and how we can improve – not only today but every day.
A few weeks ago, I visited Masai Mara with some colleagues. In one way or the other, nature revealed the importance of moving and not standing, although in essence in a much more brutal way. One of my colleagues, of Masai and Kikuyu descent, summed it up well, although I suspect the story is not his. As we entered the park just before sunrise, he said: “Every morning in Masai Mara, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest cheetah or it will be killed. Every morning a cheetah wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a cheetah or gazelle. When the sun comes up in Maasai Mara, you’d better be running.”