- Posted August 27, 2014 by
Tony Robbins’ CANI Remains Simply CANI, and a Beneficial “Cornerstone,” according to Business Owner Todd Scott
Originally a business practice implemented for the restoration of Japan following World War II, Kaizen (Japanese for “good change”) has subsequently been applied throughout the world to all types of industry and environments—from manufacturing to government to life-coaching. In a business sense, the daily improvement process goes beyond simply an increase in productivity, but also represents a humanized approach to every worker within any given organization.
Ironically, Kaizen was primarily influenced by visitors to Japan following the war—American business and quality management teachers—namely, W. Edwards Deming.
“Dr. Deming’s very involved and systematic way of improvement was introduced in America and eventually implemented in Japan, convincing the Japanese that quality was foremost in manufacturing and business,” Todd Scott says. Scott studied under Deming and now owns and operates Platoon Fitness—an 8,000 square-foot training facility located in Philadelphia and Bryn Mawr, PA. “Many in Japan credit Dr. Deming for inspiring the country to develop into having the second most powerful economy in the world less than 10 years after having one of the worst.”
From Deming’s Kaizen, renowned motivational speaker Tony Robbins derived the principle of “CANI” (Constant and Never-ending Improvement) decades later. This philosophy encourages daily incremental improvements whereupon one’s self-imposed limitations are exceeded. Applicable to all aspects of life, CANI is especially popular in business.
“I’ve used CANI for more than 20 years in business, where we’re always looking for ways to improve, while avoiding getting stuck in the ‘I-tried-that-and-it-didn’t-work rut,’” Scott says. Scott worked for Robbins for more than five years, including as his National Sales Manager. Using the CANI philosophy, Scott’s business earned a gross profit of nearly $1.4 million last year, resulting in Platoon Fitness becoming the most profitable privately-owned personal training facility in the country. “In the grand scheme of things, CANI assisted us with things like developing a system for training instructors and our approach to franchising. On a daily basis, CANI causes us to focus on exactly what we’re doing, and how we’re going to do it even better. Each time a client comes through our doors to train, we’re trying to enhance that individual’s experience. For example, before he or she even starts training, they undergo a fitness assesment, an injury history is considered, specific and measurable goals are set, and a food log is reviewed.”
As far as the derivation of CANI is concerned, Kaizen remains as popular in today’s society as when the ideology turned around Japan’s economy. In fact, a number of giant companies and even entire countries are reportedly planning to obtain, if not already having done so, an “advanced” or “complex” phase of Kaizen. For example, the multinational Toyota Motor Corporation has already implemented the advanced stage. It was also recently announced that Ethiopia, which began practicing Kaizen just two years ago, might soon be introduced by the Japanese government to a complex stage of the philosophy, where priorities would be given to the African nation’s manufacturing, logistics and construction sectors.
What about a “complex” stage of CANI being applied to industries and environments? Like the practice it was derived from, can the principle of “Constant and Never-ending Improvement” be improved upon even more so?
“There are many companies which practice Kaizen, and a few that have implemented advanced Kaizen; however, I’m not aware of a complex stage of CANI, at least not present in the fitness industry,” Scott responds.
Although apparently CANI is simply CANI, the philosophy can mean different things to different companies. “For us, CANI is a cornerstone, a keystone, where we’re always improving and experimenting, ultimately resulting in our clientele being physically fit,” Scott adds. Scott’s fitness facility holds a meeting every Thursday afternoon literally called “CANI,” where outside experts are brought in to share their knowledge with Platoon Fitness employees. “And, as a result of being fit, they are likely to live longer, less likely to suffer injuries, and less likely to endure health problems, to name just a few of the many benefits.”