KaizenBiz Is Growing Up

What is is like to be in a room full of smart people all talking at once? I’d say that’s the Twitter chat, #KaizenBiz. Every Friday at 12pm Eastern time, we gather together from places like Canada, Japan, Portugal, the UK, Mexico, Ireland, the US and other places to dissect a business idea.

The introduction

Every week I tweet out the same four statements at the beginning of the chat:

  • This chat uses concept of kaizen to examine various aspects of business, enhance our skills and deepen our self-understanding
  • Kaizen is a Japanese concept of continuous improvement; mainly used to improve processes in business, education & other organizations
  • In this chat, you are highly encouraged to interact with each other (ask questions, comment on others’ points of view)
  • Sometimes we tease apart ideas tweeted here. We keep it respectful even if moves into debate

These four statements are the glue that holds the conversation together. Most of the time, it isn’t obvious that kaizen is present in the chat. But it is the underpinning of how we explore each topic as a group and see how we improve ourselves over time. Some of our community members have improved so greatly that they can only visit the chat infrequently while others have blossomed in their careers and just don’t have the time to be with us.

Community is a key piece of KaizenBiz

I mentioned community and we are growing. I always tell long-standing members that the door is always open if they can’t make it regularly. Just looking at my list “Kaizen Biz/KaizenBlog” we have had approximately 103 people (I know I’ve missed some) who have joined the chat at some point and participate either regularly or periodically.

We keep things fun (Have you heard about our #kaizenpunk band? Silly stuff including an electric triangle!) and connecting offline is definitely encouraged! This is one of the ways I discover how talented our community actually is and invite members to be guests.

The guests

Finding people who are willing to allow their interesting ideas be pulled apart is so much fun! Ideas from Les McKeown , Stephen Denny or Nick Kellet have a way of resurfacing in our discussions of other topics. We had 14 guests this year talking about everything from influence to the Eurozone crisis. I’m hoping to have more next year!

Going beyond Twitter

In February of this year, we asked the community to consider what this chat could be. It was clear that KaizenBiz (or kaizenblog as formerly known) could be much more than one hour on Twitter. We have our website now and a LinkedIn group.But there can be more…

So, as we celebrate our 3rd anniversary…

I feel a bit like I’m giving some sort of “state of the chat” speech. It’s thriving. We’re attracting more members. We’re getting excellent guests from a variety of disciplines so there are thought-provoking conversations every week. The guests often report how much they enjoyed the camaraderie, intelligence and humanity that they encounter within the chat.

But KaizenBiz could be more. It’s my desire that KaizenBiz become a place where conventional business wisdom and concepts are explored through blog posts, in-person events and more guests. Currently we have wonderful sponsors like Cathy Larkin and Caroline Di Diego who make sure we have a transcript for our chats and a website (My business, Ability Success Growth is a sponsor also). We get great support from Bernd Nurnberger who helps moderate the LInkedIn group. Many of the chat members are wonderful ambassadors but I’d say that Judy Gombita stands out. I think she has added about 10 people to the community so far this year!

I am encouraging you to offer your suggestions, talent or sponsorships to make KaizenBiz extraordinary for more people to discover, join and use.

What types of marketing could make this chat much more visible?

How do we invite more people from around the world to participate in the chat?

Who could provide content to the website?

How do we attract sponsors (big/small) so we can invite higher calibre guests, offer in-person events or pay support staff?

What is your vision for KaizenBiz?