Is cleaning up some kind of Zen or Samurai mentality?
Isn't it interesting to know that there are many books in Japan about successful presidents cleaning up toilets and offices everyday in the early morning? I don't know whether business soundness and cleaning ups are related or not. On top of that, wouldn't it be strange if the president of your company came in early and cleaned up the toilets for you?
I recently noticed that the "Morning mail" (issued every morning) has the same kind of cleaning up effects within the organization. Every morning for over three hours, I work on the "Morning mail" that includes reading and commenting daily reports issued by everyone in the organization at the end of the previous working day.
The process makes me think about each member for a certain amount of time every morning, and it organizes my thoughts about the business and members' state of mind. Simultaneously, the comments I leave draw attention to the issues. Being aware of the issue is the first step to solve it. The following are similar phenomena I have experienced.
I have been steam ironing my shirts and suits every weekend since a few years ago. Doing that makes me notice some stains or some loose threads. Seeing the imperfections in my clothes would make me want to fix them. The process drew my attention to what I put on.
One of my friends who works for Honda told me that when he was younger, his senior used to tell him frequently: "Make it a habit to wash your motorcycle the day before you go touring. So you'd notice parts with problems in advance." The same thing applies to carwash. If you care about your car, it is better to hand-wash it, so you'd easily notice minor scratches.
So I conclude that the cleaning up process is an effective way to bring attention to issues and deal with them. Issuing "Morning mail" is an effective way to deal with the organizational issues. Since this is done early every morning, most people can work soundly and peacefully in a clean environment. I don't know whether the same thing applies to washing toilets, but it might give the opportunity to meditate, thinking about the organization members, thus resulting in successful business results.