Our Waypoints: Innovation

Posted by Gienne Van Engelen | 1/10/18 10:30 AM

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Innovation has a different context for different people but for us it means; “Constantly improving and refining towards perfection.”

This doesn’t mean that we expect our staff to invent a new engine or airplane. However, we do want to make sure staff and instructors don’t get stuck in a “that’s how we’ve always done it” mentality. We should look critically at ourselves and our process and strive to improve them.        

Innovation to us means making what we do everyday, better. This brings us to a methodology based on the “Toyota Way”, called “Kaizen”. Read more about that here. It translates to  constantly improving towards perfection. This is a popular concept taught in MBA and industrial engineering classes around the world. Back in the 1980s Japanese cars were not very good, with poor quality and reliability. By the 1990s however, they were dominant; very reliable, fuel efficient, and popular cars. Toyota had created this new Kaizen philosophy of making small incremental improvements throughout their design and manufacturing process.

Every year their product got a bit better. We strive towards that too. Constantly improving our teaching methodology with feedback. “We tend to adopt changes and ideas from our instructors, students and staff, to make our school better.” Wayman Eddy says during his presentation.

Check out this video for more on the idea behind “Kaizen” and why innovation is important to us.

A good example of innovation, using the Kaizen way, is our growth from a loose part 61 flight school to one that follows a structured syllabus. The formality of the process has allowed for more consistent, well-trained pilots. It’s safer, more reliable, and no topic or lesson is missed.

What do you think about innovation in flight training? Let us know in the comments below!

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