Sep 5, 2023



Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think: there are no little things.



At this very moment, a Toyota engineer somewhere in the world is making a very small change to the Toyota Production System, one of the most efficient manufacturing Systems in the world.

Alone, the change may not look like much—a small tweak, a slight restructure, a bit of material or effort saved. Taken together, however, the effects are huge—Toyota employees implement over 1 million improvements to the Toyota Production System every year. It’s little wonder that Toyota is now one of the world’s largest and most valuable automotive manufacturer.

Small helpful or harmful behaviors and inputs tend to Accumulate over time, producing huge results. According to Lean Thinking by James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones, Toyota’s approach is based on the Japanese concept of kaizen, which emphasizes the continual improvement of a system by eliminating muda (waste) via a lot of very small changes. Many small improvements, consistently implemented, inevitably produce huge results. Accumulation isn’t always positive.

Think of what would happen to your body if you consumed nothing but fast food, candy bars, and soda for a decade. Eating a single candy bar isn’t a big deal, but eating hundreds of candy bars is. Fortunately, the opposite is true as well: small improvements in your diet, a little more exercise, and a little more sleep can have major effects on your health over time. Incremental Augmentation is an example of the power of Accumulation.

If your offer improves with every Iteration Cycle, it won’t be long before your offer is many times more valuable to your customers than it was before. Small changes to your Value Delivery process can save you a ton of time and effort in the long run. The more small improvements you make over time, the better your results.