Masaaki Imai

Masaaki Imai Kaizen Institute

Masaaki Imai – Management Guru, Kaizen Pioneer, Founder of Kaizen Institute

Masaaki Imai is the Founder of Kaizen Institute which was established in Switzerland in 1985 to help companies implement the practice of kaizen and the various systems and tools known today as Lean Management. Today Kaizen Institute Consulting Group (KICG) is the leading global operational excellence consultancy with over 400 professionals located in offices across 30 countries serving clients in 25 languages.

Over the last three decades Mr. Imai has authored books and articles, held lectures on kaizen, quality, leadership, Lean and other related management subjects, has consulted with global companies, introduced kaizen as a commonsense continuous improvement approach on every inhabited continent.
Mr. Imai’s contribution has been one of integrating various kaizen management practices, such as Just-in-time, TQM, and TPM, into the cultural environments of client companies. He was also the first to organize study missions to Japan to study kaizen and Lean methods, a service that Kaizen Institute continues today, having led more than 200 groups and 4,000 people.

Mr. Imai speaks not only to leadership issues but also to frontline issues at the gemba or “the real place where value is added”. He understands the steps required to make a company world-class and moving it from a result-oriented to process-oriented company.



Books Authored By Masaaki Imai

  • 1975 Never Take Yes for an Answer: An Inside Look at Japanese Business
  • 1986 Kaizen: The Key to Japan’s Competitive Success
  • 1997 Gemba Kaizen: A Commonsense, Low-cost Approach to Management
  • 2010 Kaizen: The Key to Japan’s Competitive Success, (Japanese) 2nd Edition
  • 2012 Gemba Kaizen: A Commonsense, Approach to a Continuous Improvement Strategy, 2nd Edition

International Awards and Recognitions

1998 - Asia-Pacific Human Resource Development Award
1999 - Shingo Research and Professional Publication Prize for Gemba Kaizen
2010 - First Honorary Fellow of Quality Control of India (First Fellow ever)

Masaaki Imai has been featured keynote speaker at International conferences and universities in more than 40 countries, advocating his philosophies and Kaizen Institute’s principles and methodologies.
Mr. Imai was born in Tokyo in 1930. After receiving his BA from the University of Tokyo in 1955, he stayed on at his alma mater to do graduate work in international relations.


Request Masaaki Imai for as Featured Speaker

Masaaki Imai speech

Masaaki Imai is responsible for bringing kaizen to the consciousness of the West. He was the first to write and speak about the remarkable leadership principles known as the Toyota Production System, what we call "lean thinking" today. 

Request a Masaaki Imai appearance by chosing one of these services:

Speech - Massaki Imai will share his many years of experience with kaizen through an open speech

Gemba Walk - Follow Masaaki Imai through a Gemba Walk on a worldwide renowned kaizen practitioner

Q&A - An interactive speech where Masaaki Imai replies to the participants' questions

Key note - Masaaki Imai wil give an opening speech to introduce and provide content for discussions to follow

Lunch/Dinner - Masaaki Imai will join participant groups for a more personal lunch or dinner




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Kaizen Institute Malta

2nd floor

Cornerstone Business Centre

16th September Square

MST 1180 Mosta


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