Stuck in Kaizen-Mode

February 19 2017
By: Terry L. Mathis

Improvements in processes tend to fall into two categories: 1. small adjustments or refinements to existing processes often called Kaizen, and 2. large changes to entire processes, products or services often referred to as transformational changes. Unfortunately, most safety efforts are stuck in the first category. We tend to think what we are already doing is all that is needed and further improvements will come from tweaking existing efforts rather than innovating new ones.


This thinking is a huge roadblock to safety progress. Think about the series of advances in computers, cell phones, automobiles and athletics. Now compare them to the series of advances in safety, if you can think of any. It is time to adopt a new paradigm in safety that diligently seeks better ways to achieve safety excellence rather than continuing to edge our way toward failing less.

Terry L. Mathis

Terry Mathis, Founder and retired CEO of ProAct Safety, has served as a consultant and advisor for top organizations the world over. A respected strategist and thought leader, Terry has authored five books, numerous articles, videos and blogs, and is known for his dynamic and engaging presentations. EHS Today has named him one of the '50 People Who Most Influenced EHS' four consecutive times. Business leaders and safety professionals seek Terry's practical insight and unique ability to introduce new perspectives that lead to real change.

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