||This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.
His book, Kaizen: The Key to Japan’s Competitive Success (1986) was an instant global bestseller, firmly embedding the word Kaizen in the corporate lexicon. It was the first book to introduce the ‘LEAN’ philosophy to the world, four years before the book The Machine That Changed The World: The Story of Lean Production. His first-hand account is based on his close associations and travels with such corporate figures as Shoichiro Toyoda and Taichi Ohno and reveals the secrets behind the success of Toyota and other Japanese companies.
Mr. Imai’s sequel book on this subject Gemba Kaizen: A Commonsense, Low-cost Approach to Management was published in 1997. This book uses relevant case studies to detail 21 practical kaizen management practices that aim to achieve greater productivity, better quality and more profits with minimal cost and time.
The concept of kaizen is to make simple, common-sense improvements and refinements to critical end-to-end business processes – supporting the overall CI strategy of the organization. In the mid-eighties Mr. Imai brought this message to executives of the leading North American carmakers.
Today, companies around the world have used kaizen for greater productivity, speed, quality and profits with minimal cost, time and effort, to get results and to become recognized industry leaders.
Mr. Imai’s journey started in 1950 at age 20, taking Japanese managers on tours of American plants looking for the secrets of high productivity. In 1961, he returned to Japan and became the first corporate headhunter and consultant to major corporations striving for a competitive advantage. Twenty years later, the situation was reversed, with Mr. Imai receiving visitors from all over the world intent on seeking out the secrets of their Japanese trading partners- via Kaizen Tours (then known as Japan Study Tours).
Mr. Imai founded Kaizen Institute in 1985, also now known as Kaizen Institute Consulting Group (KICG). He continues to play a significant role as the Ambassador and visionary of the organization, while actively participating in conferences around the world spreading his message of KAIZEN LEAN. The Institute focuses on a top-down and bottom-up approach that engages the entire enterprise to create a Lean culture that is sustainable.
Kaizen Institute supports organizations of all sizes in Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa, Middle East and the Americas, in all business sectors. It provides broad consulting, training and certification (Kaizen College), and benchmarking services. All consultants must have practical field experience as well as having master the philosophy, methodologies and tools of Lean.
- 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 New book pending (to be named)
Other international awards and recognition 
- 1998 Asia-Pacific Human Resource Development Award
- 1999 Shingo Research and Professional Publication Prize for Gemba KAIZEN
- 2010 Quality Council of India (QCI) 1st Honorary Fellow
- "Masaaki Imai spoke at the Share Best Practice Conference in Dubai on May 13". AMEinfo.com. 30 May 2002. Retrieved 12 October 2010.