Kaizen Article

Here is the link to an article about the application of kaizen in business/industry:


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Habit Flowchart

Follow the link below to see a flowchart from The Power of Habit about how to change a habit.


Thanks to guest blogger, Susan

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The Power of Habit


 Above is a link to the book that I found about the power of habit. It is a business book but has some great insight on how our brain works.

It’s focus is on understanding how we create habits and how companies use our habit loop to build in product sales. I found am reading the book to help learn how to better change my habits then to use on our business to develop a culture and better habits.

Chad Ramberg, guest blogger

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Creativity – Jonah Lehrer

Jonah Lehrer is the author of Imagine which is now #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Here is the link to an interview with Jonah Lehrer that was done by Daniel Pink, author of Drive, on April 6, 2012.  I heard Lehrer at the OHSU Brain Awareness Series on April 10.  This interview discusses many areas that weren’t mentioned at the OHSU Brain Awareness presentation. 

Once you get to the link, then scroll down just a bit to a photo of Jonah Lehrer.  Below that is where to download to MP3 or just listen online.  It’s an hour long.


 I loved it!  I’m eager to hear your thoughts and comments.


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Terry Gross interviewed Charles Duhigg  on March 5, 2012 about his new book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.  Read a transcript of this interview at the following link:


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New Pathways – Experiences with Distraction: Part 4

By Gale Long, guest blogger

Learning – I discovered that I spend large amounts of time in distractions and often don’t even know it. It occurred to me that I was so completely and varyingly distracted that I wasn’t even conscious of it.

I think I have very cleverly learned to use distraction for a variety of reasons. They allow me to escape from pressing and/or distasteful tasks. They allow me to rest and gain distance from tasks. They sometimes lead to delightful discoveries (just often enough it seems to keep me chasing them).

Conclusions – Bringing my thinking patterns into awareness is valuable. Naming my distractions gives me more choices regarding how I live with them. I’ve built most of my mental pathways. I can build new, more effective thought patterns if I’m willing to invest the time and the attention.


  • Catch distractions at the time they interrupt.
  • Keep a log.
  • Categorize and construct countermeasures.
  • Check for improvement.
  • Repeat as needed.
  • Use the recovered effectiveness (time and energy) to move on to new challenges.

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New Pathways – Experiences with Distraction: Part 3

By Gale Long, guest blogger

Solutions – In a virtual workshop practicing change through small steps (the workshop is built around the study of a book by Robert Maurer, One Small Step Can Change your Life:  The Kaizen Way), I committed to emailing my coach each day after “catching” (becoming aware) of a distraction, naming the distraction if possible. This accountability to my coach gave me a higher likelihood of being aware of the distractions. I also kept a trail (log) of the distractions which gave me the ability to describe the distraction, see patterns, and record the contexts that produced derailments.

I also increased my capacity to notice distractions through renewing my meditation practice.  I believe that the same “neuro-muscles” that allow me to “return attention to my breath” are the same muscles I need to notice distractions and choose whether and/or when to chase them.

I learned to make a note of the distraction at the time I was distracted. For me, catching distractions is akin to remembering dreams. If I don’t make a note while they are still present they melt away into the ether.

I caught and logged tens of distractions. Over the last several weeks I’ve caught at least one distracting thought most days and sent a short email description to my effectiveness coach.

I named the distractions, sorted them into categories, and developed countermeasures.

Here are some of my many distractions and countermeasures:

Multi-taxing – While I may think I’m juggling well, I’m really losing effectiveness and taxing my mental resources. (My wife Bonnie coined the term multi-taxing and it fits well with David Rock’s work regarding multi-tasking described in his book Your Brain At Work.) Do one thing at a time, from a priority list. 

My Amygdala – Noticing variation is what kept my ancestors from being devoured – it’s just my brain. Accept the reality of my hard wiring. Choose to chase the distraction or remain on task.

Shopping Therapy – Make a list and take it with you. Choose intentionally.

Screen Suck – A term learned from Dr. Edward M. Hallowell’s Crazy Busy. It applies to wandering around in my email, on the internet or surfing TV. Enjoy if I have idle time, otherwise be wary, and choose before chasing.

Going Overboard – Getting into the minutiae of a project at the expense of the pace. Step back and ask if I’m doing what’s most important.

Misplaced Rewards – Are you following a pleasurable path at the expense of your task? Ask if what I’m doing right now is relevant or coasting and then choose.

Drama–Poor me – Be aware/name/choose. Wallow or get back in the game.

I’ll get this later when I’m going that direction – Put away now so you don’t get side tracked.

Interesting but unimportant – Name, then toss or list for later.

Legitimate Distractions – Some are real and important. Welcome/choose/act.

Pressure Coping – Name and then choose to return to priority or chase distraction on purpose if relief is necessary.

Analysis Paralysis – Be wary. Recognize. Choose. Act. Fail fast is OK.

Context – Act or remove distraction.

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