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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

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Beyond the Problem – Bonus Benefits of Kaizen Events

Posted by Noah Paratore

Oct 21, 2019 2:08:00 PM

Kaizen events, sometimes called rapid improvement events, are an effective way of solving difficult challenges within organizations. A team of stakeholders and subject matter experts takes a few days away from regular order to focus on improving a process. Because the effort is concentrated, root causes can be identified, and potential fixes implemented in short order. The obvious goal of a Kaizen event is to solve the issue at hand, usually defined in a project charter.

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Topics: Kaizen, Employee Engagement, Improvement Culture, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

Trick or Treat? The Scary Facts About Employee Engagement

Posted by Matt Banna

Oct 17, 2019 10:35:00 AM

It’s almost time for Halloween when all the ghosts and monsters come out of hiding to give folks a scare. Fortunately, it’s all in fun. But there is something that should be truly frightening to business leaders, and that’s research about employee engagement and motivation.

Gallup has measured the state of the workplace for more than twenty years. Their research digs deep into the motivating and demotivating factors for employees and sheds light on what leaders can do to create the conditions for attraction, retention, and engagement.

There’s definitely some good news in the data, but let’s start with the scary stuff.

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Employee Recognition

Should Lean Tools Be Used for Every Improvement?

Posted by Maggie Millard

Oct 14, 2019 10:11:31 AM


When I first saw this tweet from our resident Lean and Six Sigma expert and author, Mark Graban, I thought that he made an excellent point. Sometimes we get caught up in all of the sophisticated improvement tools at our disposal like value stream maps, Kaizen events, A3s, heck, even continuous improvement software that we fail to make or adequately recognize small improvements that don’t require tools.

But when I reread it, I was struck by the line, “This small improvement didn’t require a belt, root cause analysis, or a project champion.” Nope. Recognizing that the speakers were not in the ideal location and finding a way to solve that problem didn’t require any fancy techniques at all.

But what did it require? There are some prerequisites that are necessary to make even a simple improvement like this one possible.

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Topics: Lean, Improvement Culture

24 Business Process Improvement Examples to Prime the Pump

Posted by Matt Banna

Oct 3, 2019 11:10:14 AM

One of the biggest challenges we hear from organizations that are new to the world of structured business process improvement is that it is hard to articulate for employees what constitutes an opportunity for improvement. Usually, there are some low-hanging-fruit ideas that people jump on right away, but once those are cleared away, it can be difficult to spot flaws in processes, especially ones that you operate every day.

An excellent remedy for this problem is giving employees categories of improvement possibilities to consider. By providing a few examples, and some questions to ask, leaders can spark ideas and get people thinking innovatively.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Improvement Process

High Reliability Culture – The Not-so-Secret Sauce

Posted by Matt Banna

Sep 27, 2019 8:32:00 AM

Before I spent a lot of time learning, thinking, and writing about how businesses operate and what separates those that successfully achieve their mission and those that don’t, I took a lot of things for granted. I never worried that my plane would crash, I wasn’t afraid that the power plant near my house would explode, nor was I concerned that the aircraft carrier my neighbor’s son calls home would come to harm. Sure, all of those adverse events do occur, but they are so rare that most of us just don’t spend a lot of time thinking about them.

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Topics: HRO, Improvement Culture

10 Leadership Behaviors that Promote Operational Excellence

Posted by Maggie Millard

Sep 25, 2019 10:42:50 AM

Operational excellence happens when an organization consistently and reliably outperforms the competition through constant improvement and a dedication to customer value. When two companies have the same strategy, the operationally excellent company will have higher revenues, lower cost, and less risk. This type of execution is only possible with a combination of outstanding leadership and a culture that supports problem-solving and transparency.

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Topics: Leadership, Operational Excellence

Podcast: How Daily Tiered Huddles Work at Cleveland Clinic

Posted by Mark Graban

Sep 16, 2019 11:20:52 AM

When a group of us from KaiNexus attended the Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit in June, one of our favorite presentations was given by Cinnamon Dixon of the Cleveland Clinic. Through her talk (and a fun exercise), she explained and illustrated how powerful the "Daily Tiered Huddles" are as a part of their approach to Lean.

We asked Cinnamon to share some of their approach and we recorded it as a podcast. You can listen or read the full transcript below. Thanks to Cinnamon and Cleveland Clinic for being so open in sharing their approach!! Scroll down to see the transcript after the embedded player...

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5 Compelling Reasons to Measure the Improvement Work

Posted by Kade Jansson

Sep 11, 2019 2:36:17 PM

Organizations that strive for continuous improvement outpace the competition, regardless of the types of products or services they offer. From retail and manufacturing to healthcare and construction, the intensity of effort dedicated to daily positive change in an organization is directly tied to customer satisfaction and financial success.

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Topics: ROI, Improvement Process

How to Introduce CQI to New Hires

Posted by JJ Puentes

Sep 4, 2019 8:11:00 AM

I've noticed something interesting in all of the articles and blogs I read about CQI (Continuous Quality Improvement). Most of the writing addresses how to launch a new CQI program for the organization, which is obviously essential. However, I've found less written about how to bake CQI into the onboarding process for new employees. After you've been doing CQI for a while, it will be second-hand nature for your existing team, but your new hire may have no experience with Kaizen or daily improvement.

Here are some ways that our customers have had success getting new team members ready to contribute to positive change right out of the gate.

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Quality

Strategy Deployment Tips for 2020

Posted by Jake Sussman

Aug 28, 2019 9:07:38 AM


It may seem early to start thinking about the strategic plan for 2020, but the kids are back in school, and pumpkin spice is on the shelves, so it is time to start at least planning for the plan. Our clients who have achieved their most lofty goals have done so by laying a strong foundation upon which the strategy and related tactics can be built. Here are some of the things they've found that work.

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Topics: Strategy Deployment

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