Kaizen and Leading Through the Pandemic

By UOW Malaysia KDU

Sumiko Cheng Chun Yi, from the UOW Malaysia KDU School of Hospitality, Tourism, and Culinary Arts

Towards the beginning of the pandemic I came across a quote by Martin-Barbero where he stated that “taking advantage of the (Covid-19) virus-induced virtual culture for universities will require both imaginative and creative implementation, as well as open leadership and innovative mentality.” Inspired by this, I determined that I would take the opportunity during the pandemic to discover how I could engage in self-improvement while also influencing positive change amongst both students and my colleagues.

As an educator, I have always viewed it as my responsibility to develop students to live their best lives upon graduation. Central to achieving this is building a trusting relationship with students where they feel confident to take risks in their learning journey. I view it as critical that we as educators teach students to face their fears and to never be afraid of failure, to learn from mistakes, and last but not least to transfer their skills and knowledge to others. Meanwhile I also aspire to be an influencer constantly influencing colleagues in a positive way. It has been said “to be an innovator for tomorrow, we transform, we improve, we adapt and we create.” I drew upon my innovation reservoir to innovate my online delivery during the pandemic, so that all students could be engaged within an online teaching environment.

I firmly believe that to influence others, we must first take care of ourselves. Seeing the pandemic, and the extended period of lockdown as an opportunity for self-development, I decided to use the Japanese ‘Kaizen’ philosophy of continuous improvement as a way to improve my personal well-being, such as through adopting improved exercise habits (Yoga). I appreciate my healthy body and I wish through my action I can empower others to take care of theirs too, especially to encourage students to try new habits or hobbies. In addition, I wish to create awareness of the importance of a healthy lifestyle improving our immune system during the COVID-19 pandemic.

My goal is to be better than I was yesterday, be a curious learner, keep learning new knowledge, pursue continuous improvement, enrich my life and be what I want to become. I purpose to design my lifestyle as I want it. At the same time, I am determined to adopt powerful hobbies which will help me stay healthy, creative and wealthy. Remember, nothing is impossible, we just need to start today, stay positive and don’t give up. Slow progress is better than no progress!


08 March 2021


Success Stories


UOW Malaysia KDU

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