#kaizenblogWhen I  joined the Twitter chat, #kaizenblog as co-host with Valeria Maltoni (@ConversationAge), I knew I was in for something that would stretch and engage me. Valeria and I share a passion for exploring ideas and wanting to discuss them with others to see what else we could discover. Another person, Caroline Di Diego (@CASUDI), was (and is) a key supporter as I accepted the role of chat host. Caroline is also passionate about engaging with people and ideas and urged me to step up. When Valeria passed the baton to me, it was the right time to make the chat my own.

But the chat isn’t just mine

It’s really stone soup. You know that folk tale? To be fair, the #kaizenblog community is a much easier and more generous crowd. I find interesting topics, intriguing guest hosts, craft discussion questions and then it all comes together during the discussion when people add their expertise and insights.

The underlying foundation

When I took over as the full time host in October, 2010, I wanted the chat to continue examining ideas but within the context of a welcoming community. Since I coach business owners who are leading growth phases to think critically and deepen their self-understanding, it was a given that these qualities would be embedded. Besides, I’m into testing ideas in real life. It is important that people leave wanting to use what they have learned. Simply put, the chat is focused on developing people and ideas.

To communicate this philosophy to everyone, I tweet these statements every week:

  • This chat uses the 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

  • Sometimes we tease apart ideas tweeted here. We keep it respectful even if moves into debate

This sets the stage for how the conversation is framed. But there is one more thing that sets the stage-simply saying hello and goodbye to individuals who are on the chat.

Creating a community

The practice of saying hello and/or goodbye reminds us that there are people on the chat. This supports connecting both on and offline as well as keeping the conversation civil, particularly when there are disagreements. And when you have a group of very smart and confident people, there are moments when we don’t see eye to eye. That just supports how we use kaizen to make ourselves better at what we do and who we are.

It’s time for the chat to prepare for its next stage

After almost 2 years of hosting this dynamic chat, it is time to see how it can be augmented and improved. There are things I would like to see happen…expand the chat so we include more people from all over the world (we’ve gotten up to 3 continents), have even more guest hosts of excellent calibre and make this chat a “can’t miss” chat that people leave feeling they gained something extraordinary that can be applied to their work

What is Kaizenblog today?

 Who is Kaizenblog today (size of organization, industries, job title, etc.)?

Why do you come back to the chat?

How could this chat become a more sophisticated and potent place to develop people and ideas?