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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

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7 Habits of Highly Effective Kaizen Thinkers

Posted by JJ Puentes

Aug 11, 2020 9:30:00 AM

The practice of Kaizen is not about a particular way of performing business operations or even a specific approach to process improvement. Instead, it is a way of thinking about business operations that can transform how you look at problems and open up new doors to innovation. Kaizen seeks to move operations nearer and nearer to perfection through incremental improvement. Embracing the approach is not only beneficial for organizations, but it can also accelerate the development and help the careers of individual employees as well.

Here are seven ways of thinking that can help you become a champion for positive change.

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Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Process

Build vs. Buy: Should You Buy Software or Develop It Internally?

Posted by Allan Wilson

Aug 6, 2020 3:50:04 PM

For many years, leaders have questioned whether it is better to make or buy software solutions for the many business problems they face. Pros and cons are weighed to figure out what is going to be most cost-effective and efficient for the business. It's important to remember that accurately estimating the long-term consequences of this decision can be difficult. This often leaves those on the front lines struggling to pick up the slack.

The pace of technology innovation is accelerating at an exponential rate, making it difficult for the average internal IT group to cope with this pace of change. The struggle commonly lies in the fact that they not only have to create the software internally, but they must also maintain and upgrade it indefinitely.

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Topics: Software

15 Leadership Skills That Build Trust

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Aug 4, 2020 10:30:00 AM

Last week we wrote about how distrust is a barrier to change. This post outlines some of the leadership skills and behavior known to increase trust and employee engagement. You probably do some of these things really well already, but perhaps the list will remind you where improvement is still needed. This is also a useful list to share with those who are just beginning to develop their leadership skills.

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Topics: Leadership

Waterfall Coaching

Posted by Mike Wiersma

Jul 30, 2020 5:41:04 PM

There are many feelings and emotions that are triggered just from observing waterfalls. In nature, we associate them with speed, power, and beauty. With Lean, we often associate waterfalls with the concept of a continuous flow of people, materials, and information. We also use project management methodologies that leverage a waterfall approach where we execute in phases and the value is finally achieved at the end (versus an agile approach). Additional new thinking like The Flow System™ calls out how complexity, teamwork, and autonomous leadership address organizational friction. Finally, having a mind like water frees up our mind to be more productive.

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The Connection Between Trust and a Culture of Change

Posted by Matt Banna

Jul 29, 2020 9:30:00 AM

Humans are hard-wired for change. As soon as we are born, we start to grow, learn, and adapt to our environment. If that's the case, why is it so difficult to create a culture of change within an organization?

There are many barriers to change from fear of failure to plain old inertia, but a critical ingredient for constant positive change is often overlooked: trust. Your employees are probably more likely than you think to walk the high wire of change, but they don’t want to do it without a net.

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Topics: Leadership, Change Management

Make It a CI-nch

Posted by Mike Wiersma

Jul 24, 2020 5:33:34 PM

Cinch. 
\ ˈsinch

Noun.

: A thing done with ease
: A secure grip
: A certainty to happen

Verb. 

: To make certain
: To fasten tight


Improvement work doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, the intent of the thinking and methods is to provide some sense of security and increase your certainty.

If continuous improvement is truly the way to healthy, sustainable culture change, why do we make it so complicated? Why are so few using the tools? And why are we so quick to leave it all behind in times of chaos or uncertainty? The same thinking and methods apply before, during, and after those critical moments in time.  

Let’s discover a few ways to make your work and continuous improvement a CI-nch.

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A Brief Introduction to 5 Principles of Lean Manufacturing

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jul 23, 2020 12:42:22 PM

Lean Thinking, by James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones, covers the five principles of Lean manufacturing. “Truly remarkable .... the most comprehensive, instructive, mind-stretching and provocative analysis of any major industry I have ever known," said Philip Caldwell, former Chairman and CEO of Ford Motor Company. Peter Drucker called it, “A very important book.” Although the book is primarily focused on Toyota’s achievement in revolutionizing manufacturing, the principles of Lean manufacturing can be applied to almost any industry.

Here are 5 principles of Lean manufacturing:

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Topics: Lean

Change Management Tips for Leaders

Posted by Clint Corley

Jul 21, 2020 10:30:00 AM

People react very positively to the concept of continuous improvement. They are a little less enthusiastic when it is framed as constant change. But, of course, improvement requires change. Our clients who’ve done it successfully have shared their best ideas for how to get there.

Acknowledge that Most People Don’t Like Change

People balk at trying new things for several reasons, including risk adversity. It’s much easier to keep doing the same thing and getting the same results than to experiment with something that might fail. It pays to acknowledge this and let everyone know that it’s all right to try something that doesn’t ultimately work. It’s the constant learning and experimentation that will eventually lead to better processes and outcomes.

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Topics: Leadership, Change Management, Change Management Software, Continuous Improvement Software

20 Inspirational Business Process Improvement Quotes

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Jul 16, 2020 11:54:45 AM

Let’s be honest, it can be difficult to get people excited about the subject of business process improvement. The phrase itself has no personality, no flair.

Of course, we know that continuous improvement and innovation are requirements for success in today’s hyper-competitive environment. One way to get teams excited about business process improvement is to bring meaning to it using an inspiring motto or catchphrase that gives life to the idea. You can choose one and use it as the theme for your business process improvement efforts, or offer a new bit of inspiration every week.

Of course, you can invent your own, but we’ve found some quotes from business leaders and others that might do quite nicely. Here are a few. 

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Topics: Leadership

Study Finds that COVID-19 is Harming Workers' Mental Health

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jul 14, 2020 10:30:00 AM

If you find that you don't have the energy for activities that you once enjoyed or you are overreacting to small irritants, you are not alone.

New research by the Society for Human Resources Management finds that 22-35% of US employees suffer from signs of depression as they navigate the COVID-19 outbreak.

The study of 1,099 employees found that people who live with an at-risk individual, like healthcare workers or medically vulnerable people, were most severely affected. The survey found that 41% of respondents felt "burned out," yet one-third of respondents said they had done nothing to cope with their feelings, and only 7 percent had contacted a mental health professional.

Work-related concerns left over 40 percent of employees feeling hopeless, burned out, or exhausted as they face lives altered by COVID-19.

While some impact on mental health is inevitable during a crisis like this one, there are some things that employers can do to help.

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Topics: Leadership

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