Kaizen starts with a growth mindset

By Dave Henning / April 23, 2021

“No matter what you do, kaizen is the key.  It starts with a growth mindset.  You’ve got to stay humble, stay hungry.  Your benchmark your progress, but you never really arrive.  In fact, there’s no finish line.  You keep flying the kite a little higher, a little longer.”- Mark Batterson

“But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you.  Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.”- Exodus 23:29-30 (NIV)

In Chapter 8 (“Kaizen”) of Win the Day, Mark Batterson tells the story of Sakichi Toyoda.  Like his carpenter father, Sakichi loved to tinker.  Eventually his passion for innovation would earn him the moniker King of Japanese Inventors.

One day as Toyoda watched his mother and grandmother labor on their manual looms, he felt inspired to design a power-driven loom.  That led to the start of the Toyoda Automatic Loom Works.  Later his son converted the business to making cars.

However, World War II devastated the Japanese economy.  As a result, Toyota found itself mired in debt.  Not so today.  For Toyota’s net worth now stands at $236 billion.  Kaizen provides the short answer.  Pastor Batterson defines the terms as an uncompromising commitment to continuous improvement.

Yet, Mark admits a three-word phrase in Exodus 23:30 produces mixed feelings in him – ‘little by little.’  Certainly, when the Israelites finally entered the Promised Land, they surely wanted it to be a one-stop shop.  But, like the Israelites, God delivers, promotes, and grows us little by little.  Why?

In conclusion, Mark explains:

“Let’s be honest — our ability to anticipate consequences is unreliable at best.  God has reasons that are beyond human reason.  That’s hard for us to accept, but we resist at our own risk.  We hate playing the waiting game.  We plant on Monday and want to harvest on Tuesday. . . .  ‘Don’t judge the day by the harvest you reap,’ said Robert Louis Stevenson, ‘but by the seeds that you plant.’ ”

Today’s question: How do apply a growth mindset to your life?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Making decisions against yourself”

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Dave Henning

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