This is the only trident you need to be a better fisherman in your life: harness the power of Shiva.

Photo by Ankit Dandhare on Unsplash

“True rewards — wealth, knowledge, love, fitness and equanimity — comes from ignoring others and improving ourselves.”

Naval Ravikant

Growing up, we learn a lot of things from observing other people. We learn from doing.

We also learn from trials and errors. We learn from our parents, from our community, and society as a whole.

We get a lot of values. Yet often, when it comes to soft skills, we are falling short. At school, we mainly focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

I have never attended a class at school, at home, or in my community about continuous improvement.

Yet, if one thing can make us grow as individuals, I believe that a continuous improvement mindset is one of them.

The techniques I will share below are more applied in organizations. Yet, no rule says we cannot implement the same framework in our personal lives.

Are there other techniques, easier to implement?

Here are the 3 main techniques used within big organizations:

  1. Problem Solving techniques
  2. PDCA — Plan Do Check Act
  3. Lessons learned and feedback loop.
Fig: The Trident approach to continuous improvement.
Fig: The Trident approach to continuous improvement.
Fig: The Trident approach to continuous improvement.

Let us embark on the journey of Kaizen attitude to reach the highest altitude.

1. PROBLEM-SOLVING TECHNIQUES

a. 5 Whys

b. Ishikawa diagram

a. The 5 Whys — This technique consists of asking questions. ANd the best question to ask to go deeper into the root cause of many issues is why.

Why do I write? Because I want to share.

Why do I want to share? Because I want to have an impact.

Why do I want an impact? Because I want to contribute.

Why do I want to contribute? Because I believe that my voice matters.

Why do I think that my voice matters? Because I believe in my uniqueness.

You get the drill. I could dig deeper. By doing this exercise, I can say that I write because my experience is unique.

Fig: The 5 Whys.
Fig: The 5 Whys.

b. The Ishikawa diagram — This diagram is another way to go deeper into the root causes of any issue.

Often in life, we are faced with the visible symptom: the effect.

If we want to take the appropriate action, the fishbone diagram is an excellent way to paint the pictures for all potential root causes.

We can cluster them, rank them and identify the right levers to act upon.

Fig: The Ishikawa diagram.
Fig: The Ishikawa diagram.

Fig: The Ishikawa diagram.

2. PDCA — PLAN DO CHECK ACT

The PDCA cycle is another way to implement continuous improvement in our life.

It is the implementation at scale of the Kaizen (Improvement in Japanese), made famous by Toyota in their production system.

I believe that we can implement a version of this cycle into our personal lives also.

There are 4 steps:

  • Plan — Analyse what does not work and plan an improvement.
  • Do — Execute your improvement plan.
  • Check — Make sure that you are getting the results you expected.
  • Act — Adapt or change the plan if you see any difference.

The fifth step is simple: start over again as much as necessary.

Indeed the PDCA approach is a cycle that is meant to be alive to yield the best results.

Fig: The PDCA cycle.
Fig: The PDCA cycle.

3. LESSONS LEARNT AND FEEDBACK LOOP

Most of us spend our whole life yelling at the universe. And when the universe sings back to us, we continue yelling.

Most of us never take time to take the opportunity of feedback as a gift. Instead, we put our ego in the way of our self-improvement.

If we want to improve, one of the best ways is to learn from our failures, setbacks, and other people who have already taken the same journey.

Fig: The feedback loop.
Fig: The feedback loop.

Fig: The feedback loop.

Implementing the feedback loop in everything we do is one of the best hacks of life, if any.

By implementing problem-solving techniques, we can get at the root of things that are bugging us.

We can implement the change we want to see in our world with the PDCA approach.

By listening to the universe’s music more closely, we can better dance at the right tempo.

In life, every single day, either we downgrade, or we upgrade. This is the way!

What are your best tips for continuous improvement?

Are you taking feedback as a gift?

Are you asking the right questions to identify the correct issues?

Leave a comment below.

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You can read my previous article on If you want to see the rainbow, you have to go through the R.A.I.N. (Friendly link)

📖 Griot 🧙🏿‍♂️Mentor 🦄 Intrapreneur 💪🏿 Entrepreneur