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The term continuous improvement is fairly self-explanatory. It almost seems too simple, but this industry buzzword is about continually improving your business, processes, and way of working. How you go about studying, planning, implementing and evolving that improvement is where it gets more complicated. You need to encourage a philosophy of constant, logical, and sustainable improvement throughout your organization. This allows continuous improvement to go beyond being a slogan on a poster, so it becomes the way your company operates at all times.

While continuous improvement can range from simple changes in the day-to-day workings of your company to major shifts in focus and procedures across a global structure, in all cases, you will require the right instruments to achieve success and keep it going.

Continuous Improvement – The Process That Will Shake-Up Your Comfort Zone

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” –Neale Donald Walsch

There’s a reason humans often resist change: There’s a comfort in what we know. While the call of the unknown is appealing to some, it is a natural and reassuring thing to resist putting ourselves in new situations. In the business world, this is no longer possible. In times gone by, it was often possible for companies to “rest on their laurels” and maintain the status quo with their products and services because people trusted their brands and products and knew what they were getting. There are several reasons why this doesn’t work anymore:

There’s More Competition Than Ever: It’s a Global Marketplace: Information is Everywhere: Dynamics are Changing:

“Same old, same old” won’t work anymore. But that doesn’t have to be seen as a bad thing. On the contrary, realizing and accepting that there is a new way of doing business is exciting and can create many great opportunities for you and your organization, company or group.

To be clear, the continuous improvement concept isn’t a new one. Formalized in the 1980s in countless textbooks and publications, the notion that we should always strive to do our jobs better has existed for a very long time. It comes naturally to some people. Look at the case of the caveman:

This is continuous improvement. It’s not finding a method that works and sticking with it. It’s looking at where you are today, setting a goal and doing what needs to be done to reach that goal. Once that goal is met, you start again, finding ways to improve further. It doesn’t matter what kind of industry or business you’re in — a continuous improvement approach is necessary to keep ahead of the game.

With the wealth of information available on the subject of continuous improvement, it can be difficult to know where to start. What we suggest is always starting with analyzing your current situation. You need a full understanding of how you operate today so you can follow the principles of PDCA.

But this earnings season Wall Street is on guard for profit warnings and words of caution linked to Trump's tariffs.

Attacks on major companies

Even though Trump styles himself as a business-friendly leader, he's gone after countless American businesses, including Apple ( ) , Ford ( ) and Goldman Sachs ( ) . His attacks on Amazon ( ) , a major driver of the stock market rally , briefly rattled Wall Street.

Last month, Harley-Davidson ( ) was in the crosshairs over its decision to move some motorcycle production overseas due to tariffs.

On Monday, Trump followed up last summer's attacks on Merck ( ) CEO Kenneth Frazier by going after Pfizer. He tweeted that Pfizer and other companies "should be ashamed" because their drug price hikes are "taking advantage of the poor." Pfizer said in a statement that it's raising prices on less than 10% of its portfolio of drugs.

For its part, Wall Street has learned to tune out these presidential attacks as mostly noise. Pfizer shares closed slightly higher on Monday.

"Almost on a daily basis," Yardeni said, "Trump generates news that's both bullish and bearish."

CNNMoney (New York) First published July 10, 2018: 12:58 PM ET
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