I’ve been thinking about the idea of ‘lean marketing’ recently – it’s based on lean manufacturing, a methodology for minimising waste while maximising productivity. It led me on to the Kaizen approach to manufacturing, and it struck me that the principles of Kaizen are already being applied at MOI.
What is Kaizen?
Coined by Masaaki Imai in his book, “The key to Japan’s competitive success” in 1986, and further popularised across the world after Toyota internally published the document, “The Toyota Way 2001”, Kaizen is an ideology that promotes the continuous improvement of all processes and functions within an organisation.
It has a strong focus on always finding ways to improve quality, even if it’s the tiniest of changes. It means a product or service is always getting better while production gets ever more streamlined. I think it’s the perfect way to describe how MOI works as an agency.
For Kaizen to create real transformations, every individual must be seen as an asset. MOI creates global campaigns yet, as a midsize agency, everybody is seen and heard, and free to communicate openly in the knowledge that even ideas from the most junior members will be taken seriously. This means they’re more willing to share any possible improvements or concerns.
We have a very flat hierarchy at MOI, so there’s lots of open communication between people, no matter how much experience each person in a discussion has.
But Kaizen is only successful when everybody is involved, including management. And management at MOI is dedicated to not only the continuous improvement of the agency, but the individuals within it too.
From our MOI academy, where we train up and teach budding marketers, to our weekly, agency-wide ‘Lunch & Learn’ sessions, we’re always looking at ways we can improve the individual, to make them even better at what they do, enable them to achieve more and reach both business and personal goals. It helps, of course, when your agency is full of talented go-getters.
Continuous improvement of all our processes means we’re producing ever greater work at a faster rate. While this gives us a huge sense of satisfaction over what we achieve, the important thing is that clients see the benefit in every bit of work and interaction.
I hope that, by giving you an idea of how MOI works as an agency, you’ll now be inspired to look at how your own marketing team can adopt elements of Kaizen into its daily practices.
What do you think? Is there a place for manufacturing methodology in marketing? Get in touch to let me know your thoughts.