Patterns of Creativity in Japan Lessons from Successful Japanese Companies – A Resource

Don’t Rest on your Laurels

Acknowledgement of success is rare – this can lead to discouragement and resentment.

But, looking at this from the perspective of kaizen (continuous improvement) it can be understood as a focus on process, reflection and improvement as opposed to absolute results (i.e. plan, do, stop and look at the results and see how it could be better).

The point is not whether it is good or bad to withhold praise but that constantly trying to do better is important.

Example: From a discussion of Japanese management practices by a former executive level employee of several Japanese companies.

Source: Rehfeld, J.E. (1990). What working for a Japanese company taught me. Harvard Business Review, Vol. 68, No. 6, pp. 167-76.