“CANI” is an acronym for “Constant And Never-ending Improvement.” We refer to it constantly in a number of our seminars. It should be a battle cry for all organizations and individuals in these challenging days of chaos and change.
We should teach and support CANI to our children at a very young age.
There was a time when many students felt graduating from high school meant there would be no need for further study or progress. More fortunate students felt that way after an additional four year in college.
Well, that has certainly changed! Today, every business, organization, and individual must focus on CANI if they hope to strive, thrive and compete in today’s global economy.
Ironically, many businesses have reduced their training focus in an effort to save money. Study after study has shown this strategy to be disastrous! We are currently experiencing the fastest rate of technology growth in our history and the rate of change continues to accelerate at a frightening pace!
If we don’t prepare our workforce to deal with these challenges, how can we hope to survive? You might want to have that discussion with your leadership team, board members, and stakeholders. Do so and I can promise you’ll witness silence, wide eyes, and expressions of concern.
You might consider sharing the origin of the word CANI with your decision makers. It was created by Tony Robbins, a self-help author and motivational speaker, more than two decades ago. You can read about it in his 1991 bestseller Awaken the Giant Within.
The original principle was first taught by W. Edwards Deming as he taught the United States how to improve production during World War II. After the war, he was sent to Japan to teach them his quality methods. Ultimately, the Japanese were better students of the CANI principle. Deming is well-known for helping the Japanese to recover their industrial base after World War II.
The Japanese had their own term for CANI. It is Kaizen. Kai means change, and Zen means good. Kaizen is a change for the good.
The Japanese proved that Deming’s methods worked. I can remember the days in the 60s when the only thing Japan was known for was cheap toys that fell apart after a short time. “Made in Japan” was a joke in the early 1960s. By the 1990s, it stood for quality.
They transformed their manufacturing to the point where they produced cars known to have better quality than America’s domestic production by the 1990s. Today, Japanese cars and electronics are known for consistent quality due to CANI principles.
In the spirit of Kaizen (CANI), Toyota Motors receives more than 1.5 million suggestions a year from its workers … those in the heart of the organization. You can imagine how many of those suggestions were crucial to their quest for dominance.
Kaizen quickly became an essential part of the Japanese culture and was applied to every aspect of one’s life. Children were taught at a very young age that they were expected to strive for growth, knowledge, and improvement at every stage of their lives.
Maybe we should be doing the same thing. Think about it … If all you did was improve one tiny aspect of your life every single day, you would achieve mastery in uncommon time.
Robbins points out that CANI:
- Creates a personal and business momentum that will be hard for your competitors to catch up with.
- Provides personal satisfaction and fulfillment because it will cause you to grow personally.
- Leads to innovation. Innovation creates leverage.
CANI is a principle designed to encourage you to make small incremental improvements daily. In doing so, you will be forced to find a way to go beyond your current set of self-imposed limitations.
The coming decade will reveal the demise of businesses and organizations we once thought were indestructible. Leaders will emerge in every industry that were virtually unknown just years before. You and your organization may very well become either Distinct or Extinct and the strategy of CANI may very well play a crucial part in that decision! The choice is yours!
About Harry K. Jones
Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.