Solving Business Problems Using Polya & Kaizen

Our last Marketing Mojo Meetup was infinitely fun as we had a guest speaker, Jay Menon who spoke about the need for Kaizen or “Continuous Improvement” in businesses. Before he started talking about these two concepts, our guests had to play a quick game using 4 pieces of wood (and later 5 pieces) to form a square.

Jay Menon speaks about Kaizen and Polya's principles in problem-solving for businesses
Jay Menon speaks about Kaizen and Polya’s principles in problem-solving for businesses

This fun hands-on session had everyone buzzing with excitement. It looked simple but boy, was it a tough puzzle.

He used the puzzle to illustrate that if you don’t figure out the correct problem, you could be solving the puzzle incorrectly no matter how many times you tried.

Assembling a puzzle at Marketing Mojo Meetup
Assembling a puzzle at Marketing Mojo Meetup

This puzzle set the stage for Jay to talk about Kaizen and Polya’s principles of solving problems.

We brought Jay into our Marketing Mojo Meetup because we wanted to show our group of small business owners that concepts used by global manufacturing companies like Intel, Motorola, Agilent, Hitachi and many more can be easily used for small businesses too.

A diverse group joined us for networking and marketing discussions
A diverse group joined us for this networking and marketing discussion

The idea of solving problems are even easier in a small business compared to a large organization. However the small business owner must understand the basic concepts first.

Another group tries making a square out of 5 pieces
Another group tries making a square out of 5 pieces

Funnily, we have been using these problem-solving techniques in our own web design and web marketing business even before we knew it was called Kaizen.

Marketing Mojo Meetup attendees
Marketing Mojo Meetup attendees

For example, we used to have 63 steps for every website design project that came in. Now we have streamlined those 63 steps into less than 10 steps and soon, if all goes according to plan, we would only have that one magnificent step. This makes our work in the studio a lot more efficient without sacrificing the quality of our work.

Small businesses should not think that it is normal to be “fire-fighting” or trouble-shooting all the time. Many times, fire-fighting is not needed IF we know what the real problems are. That is why Polya’s principle is crucial. Sometimes it could be even the wrong problem that some businesses struggle with, all because they never took the time to define the REAL problem.

Using both Polya’s principles and Kaizen allow small businesses to learn how to be better at solving the RIGHT problems and focusing their time on continuous improvement, a little at a time.

Take a look at Jay’s slides below. Even if you didn’t attend this event, take this as a stepping stone to explore these 2 powerful concepts used by global manufacturing companies.

 
Join Us for September’s Marketing Mojo Meetup

Our next Marketing Mojo Meetup is on 25 September (Wednesday) at China House Cafe. To attend this one-of-a-kind networking-cum-marketing discussion meeting, sign up here.

In this September meetup, Nic will help you see why being a better “fisherman” will help you re-define how you attract customers to your business – specifically, how you find them and how you get them to give you their attention!

See you there!

 

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