KAIZEN™ Insight Healthcare Tour


Carsten Otto

Senior Consultant

Kaizen Institute Consulting Group

How do I benefit by participating in the KAIZEN™ Insight Healthcare Tour in Japan?

Nice to meet you everyone!  My name is Carsten and I will be your lead consultant of this tour, facilitating your learning together with Mark Graban, our guest lecturer. I have no doubt you will have a remarkable learning experience in Japan with us. We will visit many Gembas to include both hospital and non-hospital environments. From each visit, we will review what we see and hear, and discuss how you can apply this to your own situation. We will share many case studies. You will meet and network with colleagues around the world and that will be extremely stimulating and encouraging.  And most of all, you will be immersed with the culture and mind of KAIZEN™ in the place where it was born. Come join us to FEEL KAIZEN™. This is only possible in Japan and this will be a once in a life time experience for you!

 What is your professional experience in helping the healthcare sector?

I have worked in the healthcare environment since 1984. I started as the Head of Maintenance for a German hospital and later helped multiple hospitals as a Manager of Continuous Improvement, and later as CEO.  In 1999, I became a consultant at Kaizen Institute and started helping organizations in various sectors. I have helped numerous hospitals in different countries worldwide.

 What challenges did you face working in hospitals?  What was different about serving as a consultant for hospitals?

When I was working in hospitals as an internal staff member, it was hard to see things with an outside perspective. So, it was hard sometimes to break certain paradigms to make breakthrough improvements. I must say my work as a consultant can be much more efficient as even doctors respect what I can do for them! Regardless of my position, internal or external, the challenge is that diverse groups of people have different priorities. As an example, administrative teams can be highly cost conscious while nurses are doing anything to help the patients; everyone is doing their job. I find out the challenge is to run the organizational CI work effectively while respecting everyone’s position and creating the same goals internally to achieve outstanding results.

 How do you make improvements for hospitals?

I always compare healthcare to aerospace, where mistakes are not tolerated. When we deal with people’s lives, it makes a difference if there are standards or not. KAIZEN™ achieves this goal through Total Quality Management and the Zero-Defect-Philosophy. KPIs such as number of death on the beds, unsuccessful treatments, treatment Lead Time, and patient satisfaction are only a few examples. I will be looking forward to sharing many stories such as how we created the most popular hospital for pregnant mothers. I will share my view of what medical science and labor science, like KAIZEN™ methodology, have in common! It is very interesting!

Some words of encouragement to the tour participants, please.

In healthcare, a matter of a second or a millimeter dictates a life or a death. There is no time for waste and a mistake. If you are reading this, I believe you already share the view with me; KAIZEN™ can do so much to help us! I am confident that I can answer most of the questions concerning Healthcare, but sorry, no medical questions to me please! I am looking forward to seeing you in Japan to have many interesting exchanges. I am here to help you to create KAIZEN™ culture, mindset and practice for your organization!


Kaizen Institute Consulting Group, Ltd.

HQ Global Operations – Zug, Switzerland


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