January 29, 2012

Christianity & The Bible: Perfect Quality System II - Kaizen

[Continued From Previous Post]


Kaizen: It frees human efforts through improving productivity using machines and computing power.

Christianity: Sanctifying oneself through acceptance of the Gospel and things the Bible teaches will free humans from the condemnation or eternal non-conformity sin brings. Through improving the state of holiness in people's lives the Kingdom of God becomes more involved in this world and it gains a better foothold in the hearts of repentant believers that have adhered to Biblical mandates, statutes or the biblical "thou shalls" and "thou shalts".

Exodus 20:3~”You shall have no other gods before me.”
Exodus 20:13~“You shall not murder.
Exodus 20:14~“You shall not commit adultery.
Exodus 20:15~“You shall not steal.
Exodus 20:16~“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.


Kaizen: It usually delivers small improvements (but definitely produce large immediate ones also although this is the exception not the rule). A mindset or culture of continual aligned small improvements and standards eventually yields large results in the form of compound productivity improvement.

Christianity: It usually delivers small improvements (but definitely produce large immediate ones although this is the exception not the rule). A mindset or culture of continual aligned small improvements through sanctification and obedience to Godly principles eventually yields large results in the form of compound sanctification improvement or gains in holiness. Paul alludes to this slow deliberate and often painful process of improvement of individual holiness in Romans 7.

Romans 7:14-25~For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.


Kaizen: This methodology includes making changes and monitoring results, then adjusting.

Christianity: This methodology includes making changes and monitoring results, then adjusting based on a known holy standard: Jesus Christ and what we know of the mind of God in the Holy Bible.

2 Corinthians 13:5~"Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test?"


Kaizen: The idea of Kaizen is developing best practices so that workers don't have to think. As such, Kaizen is an ideal approach to improve one's personal work flow. The worker does what he needs to intuitively.

Christianity: The idea of Christianity is developing holy practices which are best for us so that believers don't have to think, they just know what to do intuitively. As such, Christianity is an ideal approach to improve one's personal life and professional life. The believer does what he needs to intuitively and becomes what he thinks and thinks what he becomes. The prverbial, "Where the minds leads, the body follows". In this case it is more akin to, "Where a Godly mind leads, a Godly body follows". Whether that body be individual or corporate.

Proverbs 22:1~ A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

2 Corinthians 7:1~ Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

Romans 12:2~ Do not be conformed to this world [which is clearly flawed and fallen in sin], but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect


Kaizen: You also want to build in error-proofing as much as possible. The "urgent" things or bad emergency things need to be minimized. You need to clear the "urgent" box.

Christianity: The belief of a true Christian at its very core believes that the Bible itself is the inerrant word of God therefore anything it speaks to is regarded as without error or error-proof. It stands to reason if it is written by an all-knowing omnipotent perfect God it would contain everything it needs to perfectly help mankind towards righteousness and holiness. It is literally the mind of God…therefore it is God. Therefore if the Bible is strictly adhered to, the emergency issues that effect the eternal scale of things are minimized or become non-existent.

John 1:1~In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

And this Word became flesh in Jesus Christ

John 1:14~The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Therefore a perfect benchmark is contained in a documented source: The Holy Bible. Therefore a perfect benchmark is also contained in a real person in reality: Jesus Christ. Therefore it is a measurable standard not just a theoretical ideal. Granted, it is an unattainable standard for humans but perfection always is…unless you’re God...which is exactly who Jesus was.


Kaizen: Focuses on eliminating waste. On the factory floor, this means wasted movement. Setting up tool stations so that everything is within arm's reach is an easy way of cutting out wasted steps, and iterated over the course of a day, or a month, for two hundred workers, this means greatly increased productivity. It also means less wear and tear for the workers themselves, and that's good for everyone.

Christianity: People's lives (Christian or not) are often an effort to find purpose, otherwise life itself often looks as if it has little or no meaning. A person can become quite nihilistic in their outlook. When we adhere to the practices and the purposes God sets before us in the instructions in the Bible we know that they are for the benefit of the believer and those that come in contact with them. The life instructions in the Bible also help to define our purposes for both the individual, the Church corporate and even those around us in the world-at-large. If God is sovereign as He is defined in the Bible (which I believe He is) and has a plan for everything...then everything in the entire Creation has a purpose and therefore fits into His grand overarching plan for Creation. If everything has a purpose…there can be no waste. There is no such thing as "superfluous" or "redundant" in God’s universe. A sovereign God is in control of all things. Therefore it has been created for a plan or design therefore it will be utilized to that end.

Romans 8:28-30~And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Jeremiah 29:11-13~ For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.


Kaizen: Standardization is another Kaizen principle. With standardization, you think about what "best practices" are, and you do so in advance. Then you externalize those best practices as much as possible, and you work those practices so that they become automatic.

Christianity: Standardization is also a Christian principle. With standardization, you think about what "best practices" are, and you do so in advance. Then you implement them into your behavior. That way your good thoughts become good actions

Proverbs 23:7 “For as he a man thinks in his heart, so is he…”

Romans 12: 2 - "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."

Then you externalize those best practices as much as possible, and you work those practices so that they become automatic. They become the way we act…behaviors that manifest themselves on the outside for others to see…we manifest and act out what we have become internally. Therefore they are measurable outputs that can be gauged and improved upon or critiqued.

The measurable outputs in a Christian life are quantified or called the "Fruits of the (Holy) Spirit" and they are elaborated on in Galatians 5:19-26. The bad results/outputs or non-conformity to holiness are also mentioned in the same passage.

Galatians 5:19-26~ The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.


Kaizen: The policies and processes of the Kaizen process must be implemented through teaching, training and educating the indiviudal members of the corporation from the CEO to the new hire. As such it is a continuous and ongoing process that never ends until departure form the company or termination. This process is used so everyone is on the same page working with the same purpose, ideas and intent in unity.

Christianity: The statutes of God and principles outlined in the Christian Bible must be implemented through teaching, child-rearing and educating the indiviudal members of the Church both at the family level (basic building blocks) to the local congregation (larger corporate units). Training and the education of all involved from the Pastor and Elders to the new believers or young child just learning about what Jesus did for us to save us not only as individuals but as a corporate whole. As such it is a continuous and ongoing process that never ends until death. This process is used so everyone is on the same page working with the same purpose, ideas and intent in unity.


Christianity: A consciuous decision needs to be made to accept Jesus Christ and what He has done on the Cross that allows all of this to take place. This decision allows you to imrpove your life immeasurably and guarentee yourself eternal life in Heaven in the presence of Jesus who is perfect, holy and wonderful. Without this rudimentay descision all else is just suprerfluous and wasted action.

Kaizen: A consciuous decision needs to be made to accept the Kaizen process and but this decision only allows you to marginally improve a mediocre earthly and human system that will still be prone to failure. Regardless, without this rudimentay descision all else is just suprerfluous and wasted action.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
[The next and final idea seems to make these two ideas diverge in a marked way…and here is where we must draw the distinction between Kaizen and Christianity. This is where you can take or leave this entire dissertation.]
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

A Major Non-Conformity

In the end Kaizen: Is a way of doing better business. Kaizen at its very heart is a system for introducing improvements to company or corporation. You can use it to pump out more work, and that's a good thing but it must be tempered with the thought that they don't become a way of life, they become a way to act at work. Kaizen does not make better people it makes better processes and systems. One needs to realize that it is not the processes or systems that make the company…it is the people. It’s like the guy that has yellow Post-It notes all over his workstation to tell him how to do everything but he has nothing internalized. The idea or way of life has not "become him". Instead he looks outward for his self worth and direction. He worships the Post-It notes and they just end up becoming totems…idols. It doesn't have to be that way.

In the end Christianity: Is a better way of life and is a divine system [therefore perfect] for introducing improvements or sanctification and holiness and keeping them. These qualities carry over not only to our workplace but also…into eternity. These exact processes and “shalls” and “shalts” that God wants us to do and learn are the very thing that give us our passage to Heaven and eternal life. It is these things that all point to Jesus Christ. The Old Testament was fulfilled in Jesus so we do not need to get all of the Law correct, we need only accept Jesus and emulate Him to the best of our flawed ability. It is and always has been about Jesus Christ. He is the benchmark…the cornerstone…the Son of God. The Bible asks us to internalize and become what it tells us to do in or out of our workplace. But the most important thing is to use these systems to make your/our lives more holy…to make our lives better in accordance with the way God wants us to be. The Christian looks inward to the Holy Spirit who is Christ within us for his self worth and direction. In this way a Christian truly internalizes Christianity. The Helper/Holy Spirit resides within us as a down payment on the justification received from the work of Jesus on the Cross. This assures that we are of acceptable quality to be taken home to be in the presence of God for eternity. Through Jesus we are found to be of acceptable quality and of an acceptable standard to be used as vessels that can hold the very thing that we were intended for. We were intended to be Temples of the Holy Spirit. Kaizen could never do this for us but there are some striking parallels here as I have noted.

My Synopsis:

First off I must say that there is much more going on here than I have typed or that meets the eye. I just don't have the time to pursue all of this to its meaningful end because I am working fulltime, teaching classes and attending Seminary. Unless of course someone wants to hire me as a consultant to pursue this for their corporation that wishes to have a Biblical Quality Control System implemented ;).

That being said, the two philosophies are very much alike. Having said this I must "cut to the chase" as a Christian. Why is it that we cannot phase in a Christian Quality Process based in Biblical principles into corporations rather than force a Japanese mindset of Kaizen on Christians in corporations? At worst we could call it something like...Christian Quality or (TCQM) Total Christian Quality Management? Can we just do away with the pretense and just utilize a Christian mindset or Christian Quality philosophy as Christian rather than trying to re-label it to make it more PC or less offensive? What harm is there in doing away with the Kaizen label completely? Why try to sell a what is sound Christian philosophy merged and blended with the Kaizen label or nameplate?

As a Christian I also see the secular gearing of the Kaizen philosophy and it gears itself to the scientific method which in some respects is a good thing and it is also a bad thing. Its good because it regiments gauges, measures and benchmarks to quantify outputs whether they be good or bad. The bad comes from the presuppositions of those observing the outputs. If they have not absorbed the Christian philosophy/tenants and are secular, agnostic or atheistic it precludes the possibility of anything outside the realm of the empirical or naturalistic. This is bad because scientific method nearly always excludes the involvement of the supernatural (i.e.: God) in its outcomes, observations or equations.

Why not adhere to a Christian Quality Control methodology outright rather than try to blend a secular quality control method. Why not just recognize a physical AND spiritual system that has been around for millennium before the business field introduced Kaizen philosophy.

Its called Christianity and it is based in Jesus Christ and is primarily revealed to us in a written work instruction: The Bible.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...