Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Quick and Easy Kaizen #7 - Dad tax

Quick and Easy Kaizen is an improvement that you can easily do for yourself that improves a process by improving quality, saving time, and so forth. The book, The Idea Generator, by Norm Bodek addresses quick and easy Kaizen and I have been practicing this technique at work for some time. Using the ideas from Norm's book, I have added improvements at home and here are some that have made my life better but didn't require that much time and effort to implement.

#7 Dad Tax

You pay taxes to uncle Sam, why not Dad? This is a little excercise that I do to teach my kids to be self-sufficient and learn to be do it yourselfers. Here's an example of how it works:

"Daddy, would you do(whatever) this for me?" (this assumes that my child didn't want to do a certain task that they were capable of)

"Sure, but there will be a dad tax(basically, if I do the work, you have to pay dad or find a way to do it yourself). If I do this, you have to pay me for my tax."

After a few times, the kids caught on. Just like adult world, you can do it yourself or pay someone else to do it.

"That's OK dad, I can do it."

This may seem unfair but it teaches children about the real world and the choices they make. Do it myself and save or pay someone else to do it. Sometimes you have to hire work out because you are not capable to do it which is OK but you should plan on that expense. The point of this is to get them to think.

As I watch my oldest daughter at college, I can see the benefits of her financial choices. She handles her money wisely(I was pleasently surprised at her bank balance) and she impressed us at well by decorating her apartment bedroom on her own. Instead of spending a fortune at Target or BB&B, she and a friend decorated and cleverly crafted her room for less than $5. The coolest part of all for me was the lamp she repainted and created recycling and improving the lamp shade. She did a wonderful job and she has a style all her own. She opted to empower herself to create a one of a kind room instead of paying someone for that service. She has learned well from the dad tax. Too bad she has to still pay uncle Sam tax.

What have you improved today?

Dan Lafever


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