The Art of Continuous Improvement

Every person and organization I know have the drive to improve. That drive may be personal character or a bank balance. The pursuits and approaches are many.

How do you continuously improve?

I am always on the outlook for resources and thinking on the topic of continuous improvement. The word continuous is important because a day or calendar quarter without growth or performance can lead to many problems. Additionally, improvement needs to take place on a macro level, not just micro. For example, in order for a person or organization to be all it can be, every aspect and system within from restroom cleanliness to finance, personal accountability to the end product; the entirety is important to consider and address.

I was re-reading several sections within the book “Organizational Behavior” by Kreitner & Kinicki. I found the outline of the 4-P Cycle of Continuous Improvement and thought it does a good job giving a high-level overview of the many elements of an organization, or even our personal life, working together. To bring all of these together is a true art.

The 4-P Cycle of Continuous Improvement

  • People

Skill development
Personal development and learning
Readiness to change and adapt
Increased personal responsibility for organizational outcomes
Greater self-management
Decreased stress

  • Products

Greater customer satisfaction
Better quality goods and services

  • Processes

Technical advancement
Faster product development and production cycle times
System flexibility
Leaner and more effective administration
Improved communication and information flow
Organizational learning
Participative and ethical decision making

  • Productivity

Reduced waste
Reduced rework
More efficient use of material, human, financial, and informational resources

*Updated from June 15, 2011 post on

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