We live in an era of constant flux where the ability to adapt and continuously learn defines our resilience as creators or entrepreneurs.

Our work is shaped by how we respond to and initiate change. This is where the concepts of Kaizen and High Agency come into play, creating a potent mix of constant improvement and self-efficacy.

Let's delve into these concepts and learn how they can empower your journey of everyday innovation through life design!


Kaizen, which roughly translates to "change for better," is a long-term approach that recognizes small, daily improvements as a path to superior quality and performance. Born in Japanese business culture, the philosophy has found its place in various fields, from manufacturing (notably Toyota)  to personal development.

The principle of Kaizen is quite simple: intentional small, incremental changes over time lead to substantial improvements. It’s not about making massive leaps, but rather about focusing on the little details and continuously refining them.

The Kaizen Framework:

  1. Plan: Recognize an opportunity and plan a change.
  2. Do: Test the change. Carry out a small-scale test.
  3. Check: Review the test, analyze the results, and identify what you've learned.
  4. Act: Take action based on what you learned in the study step.

Here are some practical ways to implement Kaizen:

  • Start Small: Identify one area in your life or venture that you wish to improve. It could be anything from increasing productivity, improving communication, or enhancing a particular skill.
  • Set Micro-Goals: Once you have identified the area of improvement, set small, achievable goals. For example, if you wish to improve productivity, a micro-goal could be to eliminate one distraction from your workspace each day.
  • Embrace Mistakes: Errors are learning opportunities. Instead of fearing them, use them as stepping stones to analyze your process and refine your methods.
  • Involve Others: Kaizen is not just an individual pursuit. In a community, team, or business setting, encourage everyone to suggest small improvements.
  • Consistency is Key: Consistently make small improvements, no matter how insignificant they seem. Over time, these will compound into significant changes.

High Agency

"High Agency" is a term that describes a person's belief in their capacity to influence their own life. It involves taking control of your circumstances rather than being a passive recipient of them. A high-agency individual doesn't shy away from obstacles but, instead, perceives them as challenges to overcome.

Here are some ways to cultivate high agency:

  • Develop a Growth Mindset: A growth mindset, as opposed to a fixed mindset, is the belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed over time. This mindset is crucial for cultivating high agency.
  • Take Responsibility: Take ownership of your actions, decisions, and their outcomes. This sense of responsibility empowers you to influence your circumstances.
  • Seek Solutions: High-agency individuals are problem-solvers. Whenever you face a problem, instead of focusing on the obstacle, shift your attention toward potential solutions.
  • Embrace Uncertainty: Uncertainty is a given in life, and even more so in the world of entrepreneurship and creative ventures. Embracing it rather than fearing it is a key characteristic of high-agency individuals.
  • Build Resilience: High agency requires resilience. Cultivate it by embracing challenges, maintaining a positive outlook, and developing emotional intelligence.

The Intersection of Kaizen and High Agency

When you combine these two concepts, you get a mindset that is both proactive and adaptable. You are not merely reacting to changes but actively seeking ways to make things better, step by step, day by day. This mindset becomes the driving force behind your decisions and actions, leading to consistent improvement.

By integrating Kaizen and High Agency into your life and ventures, you're not only able to navigate the challenges that come your way but also to transform them into opportunities for growth and innovation.

Extra Resources for Inspiration

Podcast Episodes

Click here if the Spotify playlist widget above is not visible!


Success Habits: Kaizen by Michael Ceaser

How to Set Goals with Kaizen & Ikigai by Anthony Raymond

The Practice by Seth Godin

The Power of Agency: The 7 Principles to Conquer Obstacles, Make Effective Decisions, and Create a Life on Your Own Terms by Dr. Paul Napper and Anthony Rao Ph.D​

One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way by Robert Maurer

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

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