Do you ever work on something that makes you giddy with excitement? At last year's User Conference, we started the tradition of giving out awards to honor the hard work of our customers. I was into it when we came up with the idea... I was super excited when I saw the lightbulb trophies that our VP of Customer Experience found... but standing next to the stage waiting to whip a surprise Nexie hidden in my dress pocket, I felt (as we say in the South) fit to burst.
And you guys, it's going to happen again this year. Well, not the dress pocket thing - I feel like I can only pull that off once. But definitely the Nexie Award Ceremony.
The people at our conferences are usually the ones recognizing and rewarding others for their hard work around continuous improvement. The Nexie ceremony is our way of changing the game for an evening by honoring them for their hard work and commitment to excellence throughout the year. The awards are meant to be a play on the Oscar or Grammy, and are given out based on a variety of criteria and categories.
Here are the categories we'll be awarding at this year's conference. If you haven't registered yet, do so here - you definitely won't want to miss this.
- True Grit
Improvement takes patience and a can-do mindset. Even in good cultures, adoption of a new technology requires patience and change management. You have to convince frontline staff to use the system, managers to adopt it as part of their standard work and employee expectations, and senior leaders to utilize and promote it with regularity. It takes time and a well-thought-out strategy to get the kind of buy-in you really need to be successful. It takes... grit.
Last year's True Grit award went to Patty Kallal at Texas Health Resources. At the time of the 2017 conference, their dedication to spreading an improvement culture had resulted in an impact of $3.5 million, a savings of 3300 hours, over 500 improvements, and a 92% completion rate of all improvements in KaiNexus.
- The Change Maker
Some customers utilize KaiNexus to focus solely on top-down, project-based improvement. Others use it to deploy Hoshin Kanri. But some customers are a veritable powerhouse of improvement, collecting everything from big projects to tiny improvements that were implemented on the fly and entered into KaiNexus in order to share them with everyone else. That's the kind of customer we want to recognize with the Change Maker Award - a company who values every improvement, no matter how big or small, and empowers every employee to get involved.
The winner of the 2017 Change Maker award was JC Cannistraro, who had completed over 2,600 improvements in the last year. With an employee engagement rate of 84%, that’s a whopping 7 improvements per person in the last year, with a 95% completion rate.
That's nuts, you guys.
- Top Turnaround
The Top Turnaround is awarded to the KaiNexus customer who has displayed the most progress using KaiNexus building culture since last year’s conference.
In 2017, this award went to Mike McGowan from Memorial Health System, who famously sat on stage in a panel at the 2016 User Conference and claimed that he was likely “the worst KaiNexus customer,” referencing his feelings of underutilizing the platform. Since then, he has more than doubled the number of improvements captured per year and has nearly five times the number of active users in the system.
Memorial Health System has such an amazing turnaround story, I don't know how we can give out this award to someone else in 2018 - but the Customer Experience team has told me that the competition is pretty steep.
- The Peanut Butter
This one is given to customers who demonstrate the natural ability to “spread” improvement. It takes a special kind of leader to successfully roll out KaiNexus in one location and move it along to new areas, keeping momentum and maintaining adoption long after the initial rollout. We'll have a whole session focused on this Model Cell approach to spreading improvement at the 2018 conference, where we'll hear from some of the nominees in the running for the 2018 Peanut Butter Award.
The 2017 Peanut Butter award was given to Justin Self at BJC Health, who opted to use KaiNexus in their radiology department. Since then, they’ve saved over $400,000 and 4,000 hours with an average of two annualized improvements per person.
- Efficiency Experts
This award is for the customer whose organization has logged the highest amount of time savings and for using the product in creative, wildly efficient ways. Gains in efficiency is a fabulous place to focus improvement efforts; the time employees save enables them to get more work done in less time, increases employee satisfaction by making their work less boring and frustrating, increases customer satisfaction by reducing wait times... I could keep going, but you get the point. Efficiency is awesome.
In 2017, the Efficiency Award was given to Pam Pothoven at GreenState Credit Union, whose organization has soared beyond everyone else in terms of time savings with a whopping 33,000 hours saved in the last year. Also notable is that GreenState Credit Union has utilized their marketing and design resources to create AWESOME boards and badges, the rollout of which resulted in a giant increase in employee engagement.
- Rookie of the Year
Some customers show signs of greatness within the first few months. They sign on with KaiNexus and hit the ground running, speeding through the implementation and onboarding processes, ramping up engagement, and raking in the impacts. Starting off on the right foot like this increases buy-in at all levels of the organization, and makes it easier to spread the improvement culture going forward. This award is for first-year customers with outstanding activity and impact numbers.
The 2017 Rookie of the Year went to CareSource. Now, it’s hard to call someone a rookie when the person who brought KaiNexus to the organization had prior experience using KaiNexus at another company, but really, the language, processes, and support are so different when going between organizations that it’s really like going to a new league. The team at CareSource grabbed the reigns and is off to an incredible start, though, with 360 improvements in 2017 at the time of the conference and an impact of $175 MILLION.
I can't wait to see the stats of the 2018 Rookie of the Year - another category I hear has some steep competition.
- Captain Feedback
This award is for submitting more product enhancement requests than any other KaiNexus customer. Why is there an award for this, you ask? Because, simply put, your feedback makes KaiNexus better. Every customer uses KaiNexus differently, in ways that we never imagined when we first starting building the software. It's through the feedback that you give to us that we learn what we need to do to work better for you, help you spread improvement, and generally improve our software. KaiNexus is awesome directly because of our customers' feedback.
The 2017 Captain Feedback award went to James Pryor at Summit Health, who has submitted 43 ideas for improving KaiNexus so far. This is HUGE for KaiNexus; none of us on the KaiNexus team lead the improvement program for a large organization, so we depend on our customers to tell us what they need to grow and be successful. The contributions that James has made to the platform have gone a long way toward making KaiNexus better for everyone.
- Honorary KaiNexus Team Member
This award is for customers who always find ways to make KaiNexus better as a company. Whether through product requests, hosting webinars, or simply making introductions to others in the lean/CI community, this customer is inherently dedicated to improving KaiNexus.
Our team had no trouble reaching a consensus around who to designate the 2017 Honorary KaiNexus Team Member. Tania Lyon at St. Clair Hospital has gone above and beyond what we could have hoped for in terms of customer engagement and evangelism. She’s always giving us ideas for the product and challenging us to grow in new ways, she makes introductions and gives reference calls, and has even presented at a conference and on a webinar. Her work is invaluable to achieving our goal of spreading continuous improvement.
- Lifetime Achievement Award
The winner of this award embodies all the characteristics of a best-in-class continuous improvement organization. They have outstanding employee engagement and improvement activity, they've achieved incredible impacts, they successfully spread improvement throughout their organization, they help us improve the platform, they have engaged senior leadership, they're devoted to improving every aspect of their company.
This is another award that was easy for our team to agree on in 2017. Mary Greeley Medical Center has been with KaiNexus since before we even had our first proper office, and has worked with us through a ton of growth and development. They made the transition from KaiNexus 1.5 to 2.0, and we learn so much from the work they do in KaiNexus. They began using KaiNexus to manage their Kaizen Events, and over the years have spread their improvement culture down to their front line employees. They too have contributed to the success of KaiNexus with work like reference calls, webinars, and interviews. The team at Mary Greeley has played a huge part in making KaiNexus what it is today, and we’re so grateful to them for that.
So. After all this hoopla, you're probably wondering what you have to do to win a Nexie of your very own, right? We'll be releasing some videos in the next few weeks of last year's winners describing what has made them so successful, Like our Facebook page so you don't miss those.
Oh, and of course, register for the conference. You're going to want to be there for this.