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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

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Common Strategy Deployment Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Nov 7, 2018 2:41:23 PM

We just rolled the clocks back, so chances are you are either getting started or are well into your strategic planning exercises for 2019. Unfortunately, the chances of successfully deploying a strategy and achieving stated goals are low for most organizations. In their book The Balanced Scorecard, authors David Norton and Robert Kaplan note that 90 percent of organizations fail to execute their strategies successfully.

What accounts for a 90% failure rate? Why do so many companies put a ton of effort into developing a strategic plan, only to miss the mark?

In developing the KaiNexus platform for strategy deployment, we’ve had the chance to chat with leaders in many industries about the planning process. We’ve talked a lot about what works, but also about what doesn’t. When it comes to strategy deployment, there are some common pitfalls that our clients have learned to avoid. Here’s what not to do.

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Election 2018: The Connection between Civic Engagement and Employee Engagement

Posted by Maggie Millard

Nov 5, 2018 1:15:59 PM

I’m going to do something that everyone who writes a business blog knows is a dangerous idea. I’m going to talk about the 2016 American election.

(Calm down, PR team, it’s going to be OK.)

Specifically, I want to talk about the 108,600,056 people who did not vote in the 2016 election. That’s 46.9% of eligible voters choosing to sit that one out. Not only did those folks decide not to weigh in on two dramatically different presidential candidates they also didn’t have a voice in who will represent them at the local and state level, nor on any ballot measures that the voters were asked to decide.

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Topics: Employee Engagement

The Bedrock Principles of Continuous Quality Management

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Nov 1, 2018 8:11:00 AM

Continuous quality management (CQM) does not look the same in every organization. Some practice CQM as part of a business management philosophy like Lean or Six Sigma, while others implement it on its own. There are a bunch of tools and techniques that support CQM such as Gemba Walks, Catchball, and DMAIC that may or may not be used. However, there are some core principles that tie successful continuous quality management organizations together. They form the basis for the approach and are indispensable.

Quality Management is About Process Management

When you break it down, organizations are made up of hundreds, if not thousands of interlocking processes. The quality of the products or services that are delivered to external and internal customers alike is dependent on the quality of those processes. The financial health of the organization is dependent to a large extent on the efficiency of those processes. If you focus on the processes one at a time, you can fundamentally change the game and deal with the challenges facing your organization.

Quality management is not about placing blame on people. W. Edwards Deming believed that the system was responsible for 97% of the problems. The downside to simply blaming a person when quality standards are not met is that it prevents leaders investigating a bit more to find a root cause finding solutions that improve the performance of all the workers. If a worker makes a mistake, it is essential to ask why and find the process conditions that made the error possible.

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Topics: Quality, Spread Continuous Improvement

5 Incredibly Powerful Lean Visual Management Tools

Posted by Matt Banna

Oct 31, 2018 9:11:00 AM

Visual management tools surround us - although they are so ubiquitous, we might not even think about them. When your car is about to run out of gas, a light will alert you to the problem. You’ve probably got a message waiting indicator on your desk phone. Your fitness app may even show you how close you are to your daily goal. Your brain can quickly process these visual clues and use the information to make decisions.

The Lean business approach takes advantage of this fact and leverages several powerful tools for management and improvement. You don’t have to be all in on Lean to take advantage of them. Any organization striving for continuous improvement can benefit.

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Topics: Visual Management, Lean, Software

6 Requirements for Effective Strategy Deployment

Posted by Maggie Millard

Oct 29, 2018 11:09:53 AM

As the end of 2018 quickly approaches, many management teams are somewhere in the process of preparing the plan for 2019. Regardless of where you are in that process, this is a good time to reflect on whether or not your 2018 strategy came to fruition. Did your organization achieve the goals it set out for itself? Was adequate progress made toward your long-term objectives? Was progress assessed adequately and frequently enough?

If your results were disappointing, you are not alone. Effective strategy deployment is a struggle for many organizations; it's common to start the year off with excellent intentions but struggle to align the origination around the strategy. Communication, feedback, and measurement all take hard work and constant attention - which is tough with the day-to-day firefighting most businesses are faced with.

The good news is that there are some ways to integrate strategic planning and management into the daily rhythm of your organization.

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Topics: Strategy Deployment

Perseverance: Why It Matters & How to Develop It

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Oct 26, 2018 8:11:00 AM

What does perseverance mean to you?

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Shake Up the Status Quo by Crowdsourcing Innovation

Posted by Matt Banna

Oct 24, 2018 8:11:00 AM

When people think of innovation, they often leap to major breakthroughs like a new treatment for illness, an alternative form of energy, or a new detail device. However, Dictionary.com defines innovation as, “A change in something established, especially by introducing new methods or ideas.” In companies, small changes like fine-tuning a process, or solving a nagging problem can be as critical to success as a new product introduction or a massive shift in the business model.

The challenge for many organizations is that change is hard. According to a survey by Gartner, "The biggest threat to innovation is internal politics and an organizational culture which doesn’t accept failure, doesn’t accept ideas from outside, and/or cannot change." The barrier isn’t that people don’t have great ideas; its that there are roadblocks that prevent those ideas from being considered and enacted.

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Topics: Innovation Software

Get More Impact from Improvement with Digital Visual Management

Posted by Maggie Millard

Oct 23, 2018 9:53:52 AM

The human brain processes visuals significantly faster than text. Smart leaders take advantage of our ability to process and remember visual information and leverage it to get more from all of the continuous improvement practices they oversee.

Visual management can be used to support a culture of improvement and spread success across the organization. By choosing the digital approach to visual management, it is possible to introduce an improvement management system that makes visualization easy and accessible for every employee.

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Topics: Visual Management

Why Software Needs to be Part of Your Lean Strategy

Posted by Clint Corley

Oct 18, 2018 8:42:00 AM

If you’ve decided to embrace the Lean business methodology, we offer our congratulations. It is an excellent approach to reducing waste, capturing opportunities for improvement, and creating a culture of innovation.

When most leaders start their Lean journey -- and it is a journey, we’re sure no one has achieved Lean perfection yet --  they focus on training managers and staff to ensure that they understand what Lean is really all about. This is a critical undertaking, but our clients have found that it is not enough on its own.

In addition to education, you and your team need the right tools in place to support Lean, and that starts with Lean management software.

Not only does software make your organization more effective at continuous improvement, but it also increases your strength as a leader.

Here’s why software should be a central part of your Lean strategy.

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Topics: Lean, Continuous Improvement Software, Strategy Deployment

Toyota, Bourbon, and Continuous Improvement

Posted by Matt Banna

Oct 17, 2018 11:56:45 AM

One of the greatest benefits of working at KaiNexus is our commitment to learning and growth. I was thrilled when Kade Janssen and I were given the opportunity to attend the first Symposium on Learning Organizations: Agile, Lean, Deming, and More hosted by Mark Graban, Dion Stewart, and Joel Tosi.

The Symposium started off with a visit to Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas (TMMTX) in San Antonio, Texas. Although this was Kade’s and my second trip to the Toyota manufacturing plant, there was still lots to learn.

First was the visitor’s center. It had been completely redesigned from our previous trip. Aside from still having the ever-present Andon-cord, Toyota added a number of hands-on activities, including a car door spray paint video game, an example of the automated motorized cart tugs, and a demonstration of their weight-assisted chair movers.

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