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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

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Greg Jacobson

Greg Jacobson is the Chief Executive Officer and a co-founder of KaiNexus. He is an ER doctor that is fanatical about the single biggest barrier holding companies back from greatness - their lack of continuous improvement work. It has taken him down the path of developing KaiNexus. He also loves pickles, playing squash, and hanging out with his insanely awesome wife and daughter.
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Recent Posts

Mistakes Were Made: The Great Molasses Flood of 1919

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Dec 30, 2020 11:36:00 AM

On January 15, 1919, in the North End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, a large storage tank owned by the Purity Brewing Company filed with 2.3 million gallons of molasses weighing approximately 12,000 tons burst. As a result, a wave of molasses rushed through the streets at an estimated 35 miles per hour, killing 21 people and injuring another 150. 

Like many other tragic disasters, this one was entirely preventable. As is often the case, no single decision of factor alone was responsible for the catastrophe that left Boston smelling like molasses on hot summer days for decades. 

A look at the circumstances leading up to the flood reveals that leaders at Purity Brewing Company made the same kinds of mistakes common in organizations today. 

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The Right Way to Talk About Standard Work with Your Staff

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Nov 12, 2020 1:01:47 PM

We've written about standard work in the past, but it is often a topic that is overlooked or misunderstood in the continuous improvement process of many organizations, so it's definitely worth revisiting. If you’re in the process of implementing LeanKaizen, Six Sigma, or another method of continuous improvement, we strongly recommend making standard work a part of your process.

What is Standard Work?

Standard work is the practice of setting, communicating, following, and improving standards.

Establishing standard work begins with creating, clarifying, and sharing information about the most efficient method to perform a task that is currently known with everyone performing that process. Once this information has been shared, everyone practices this standard consistently so that the work is done the best way every time. This is where continuous improvement comes into play; standard work isn't a "set it and forget it" process, announced once and then permanently unchanging. Instead, everyone should work to improve the standard, and share new best practices as they're discovered.

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Topics: Lean, Leadership

The 7 Steps of Hoshin Kanri Planning

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Oct 22, 2020 11:20:45 AM

The process you use to develop your strategic plan is as important as the plan itself. That’s why many organizations turn to the Hoshin Kanri approach, which focuses on creating a plan that takes into account both the daily management of the organization and the tactics necessary to reach those goals that will have the most significant impact. The result is a set of specific action plans and resources necessary to achieve your business breakthrough.

Although some organizations tweak the approach to meet their specific needs, most often the Hoshin Kanri planning process consists of the following seven steps.

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Topics: Hoshin Kanri

Quality Improvement in Residency Programs

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Oct 12, 2020 2:30:00 PM

I received an interesting call a few weeks back from Bahnsen Miller, MD. Bahnsen is an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Virginia Health System. He attended LSU School of Medicine and completed his residency training there. After residency training, he completed a quality improvement and patient safety fellowship at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge—this is where he learned about KaiNexus. Since then, Bahnsen has been working with residents and students on various quality improvement and patient safety initiatives.

He asked me if I had ever thought of using KaiNexus to help train physicians during their medical school and/or residency periods. It brought back a flood of memories from how my “improvement story” began.

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How to Build Kaizen into Employee Onboarding

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Sep 17, 2020 2:00:00 PM

Much of the information published about establishing a culture of Kaizen is written for leaders who are introducing the concept to their entire organization for the first time. But once the Kaizen mindset is established, the job is not done. Looking for opportunities for positive change may be second nature to your long-term employees, but many new hires will have no knowledge of Kaizen or daily improvement. Without a plan for familiarizing these new team members with Kaizen, your carefully developed culture can quickly become diluted. That's why it is critical to bake Kaizen into your employee onboarding process. Here are our top tips for doing precisely that.

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Topics: Kaizen, Employee Engagement

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

Ten Mid-Year CI Questions to Ask Every Employee

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Jun 30, 2020 9:00:00 AM

It's hard to believe that the first half of 2020 is in the books. Just kidding. I don't blame you if you feel like there's been 10 years worth of news in the last six months. It's been intense. COVID-19 has impacted every American to varying degrees and much has changed about the way we live and work.

This year, more than ever, it makes sense to do a mid-year check-in with every employee. Despite the challenging situation, continuous improvement driven by every team member is still essential.

By asking the right questions, you might uncover ways that leaders can provide better support for staff members trying to make the best out of difficult circumstances. Here are a few we recommend.

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Improvement Culture, Improvement Process

6 Continuous Improvement Metrics That Actually Matter

Posted by Greg Jacobson

May 20, 2020 1:21:35 PM

Maybe Albert Einstein was talking about continuous improvement when he said, “Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Too often, we see organizations struggling to measure only those things that can be tied to a dollar amount and they, unfortunately, neglect the impact of ALL improvements. Let’s have a look at the top six ways to measure the impact of your organization’s improvement efforts.

 

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Topics: ROI of KaiNexus

Changing the Culture of Wearing a Mask

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Apr 3, 2020 4:20:43 PM

The more conversations I have with people, the more it is apparent that everyone doesn’t yet understand that they need to wear a mask when they go into a public place (grocery, gas station, etc).

Here is a great short explanation and here is a great long explanation

In order for everyone to be on the same page about universal-public-mask wearing, we need to change the meaning, the intention, the belief, and ultimately the relationship we have with wearing masks

To do this let’s change the meaning of wearing a mask. Let's start making mask-wearing a...

  • sign of respect for others as well as a sign of politeness

  • signal to everyone that you are taking this seriously

  • way to decrease the spread of Covid when you are asymptomatic

  • reminder (and a barrier) to not touch your face when you are outside so you don't get infected

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How About COVID-19 AND the Economy?

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Mar 26, 2020 5:48:13 PM

Many conversations about our fight against the Coronavirus imply that combating the virus is unnecessarily destroying the economy. Or, said another way, to preserve the economy, we need to relax our fight against the virus.

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