The process of improvement first requires that we learn to see our work differently. The fact is that the vast majority of the work that we do every day is waste. It does not add value to the end product. Taking the time to relearn how to look at work and see it for all it's glorious wastefulness must be the first step in the process of improvement.
Once we have learned to see the wastes in our work and in our lives, we then need to look critically to decide where and how to act. Often the right action to take seems obvious on the surface. But careful analysis can reveal unforseen problems with the obvious solutions and unearth superior ones.
Only after a critical look into the causes of waste should we take action to implement and retain improvements.