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Kaizen Thinking: 4 Ideas to Shape Your Outlook

Posted by Kade Jansson

Dec 21, 2020 12:04:19 PM

In Japanese, 'Kaizen" means "good change" (Kai = change, Zen = good). Kaizen describes a corporate philosophy of continuous improvement across the entire organization. In a clutter of Kaizen, employees work alongside each other to ensure consistent positive change.

Kaizen's foundation is simple: operations can always be made better, even if they are working well right now. When there are problems, people who practice Kaizen see them as opportunities for improvement.

The world's most successful companies have adopted Kaizen as a way to remain competitive by getting better all of the time.

While there are many tools and techniques used by Kaizen organizations, and even substantial management methodologies such as Lean and Six Sigma that build on Kaizen thinking, you don't need a complicated approach to benefit from Kaizen.

All that is required is a mindful approach to problems and processes. Of course, technology can be a big assist in implementing improvements, but positive change starts with what you and other leaders in your organization believe.

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Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Culture, Improvement Methodology

How (and Why) to Standardize Leadership

Posted by Danielle Yoon

Dec 14, 2020 11:00:01 PM

While most people agree that process operations should be standardized as much as possible, the topic of standardizing leadership comes up less frequently. That's unfortunate because standardizing leadership is a crucial element of building a culture of improvement. It is the surest way to sustain improvement and build an organization with strong problem-solving muscles.

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Topics: Leadership, Improvement Culture, Spread Continuous Improvement, Improvement Process

Continuous Improvement Principles in Manufacturing

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Nov 23, 2020 12:21:54 PM

These days, organizations of all types embrace the concept of continuous improvement. Still, there's a reason that many of the most popular tools and techniques for improvement and waste reduction began in the manufacturing sector. Manufacturing is complicated. There are issues of materials management, complex equipment, specialized employee responsibilities, production deadlines, and many more.

More complicated processes and systems mean increased opportunity for error and inefficiency. Both can waste time and cost money, impacting the total profits for an organization.

Dedication to continuous improvement is an approach to cutting these inefficiencies, reducing waste, and enhancing processes. Continuous improvement in manufacturing focuses on increasing customer value, reducing waste, and optimizing factory operations. Further, the goal is to build a culture of improvement where workers notice and act on opportunities to improve their work and share ideas for innovation.

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Topics: Lean, Improvement Culture

6 Tips for Accelerating the Pace of Positive Change

Posted by Maggie Millard

Oct 26, 2020 10:47:26 AM

It is difficult to underestimate the potential to transform your organization through a dedicated effort to achieve continuous improvement. Of course, that’s much easier said than done, but with leadership and consistency, the possibilities are limitless.

Whether you are just getting started with continuous improvement or need to get more out of an existing program, these six tips can help you get more people engaged, complete more projects, and demonstrate significant impact.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Improvement Culture, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

How to Engage Employees During the Pandemic

Posted by Clint Corley

Jul 6, 2020 11:23:39 AM

Right now, every business leader in America is doing something they’ve never done before—managing employees through a pandemic. COVID-19 has changed so much about how we live and work that you should not be hard on yourself if you are struggling to support your organization’s culture and to keep your employees engaged.

Employee engagement is essential for success, especially in this disrupted environment. Organizations with high employee engagement are 21% more profitable. They experience less turnover and absenteeism, and each worker is more productive. But how can you support engagement when remote work and physical distancing are required whenever possible?

Here are a few things to consider:

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Improvement Culture

Top 5 Reasons to Measure the ROI of Improvement

Posted by Danielle Yoon

May 27, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Organizations that strive to improve continually can stay ahead of the competition, regardless of their industry. From manufacturing and engineering to healthcare and education, the effort dedicated to consistent, positive change in an organization directly tied to sustainability and success.

If you take a look at the measurements usually used to track an organization's success, you'll probably find a robust reporting framework in place. Financial metrics are probably the most obvious indicator of a company's health, and there isn't a company in the world that doesn't meticulously monitor them.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Leadership, Improvement Culture

12 Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Terms to Know

Posted by JJ Puentes

Apr 28, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Almost every industry and profession develops a language of its own. Scientists, lawyers, doctors, and many other vocations have a set of vocabulary that sounds like gibberish to everybody else. In much the same way, the practice of continuous quality improvement has developed a language that is unique to it. Some terms are generally used across all improvement methodologies, while others are specific to particular practices such as Lean and SixSigma.

We thought it would be useful to offer a quick list of some of the most common and important terms. If you are just getting started with continuous quality improvement, this is a great place to start. It’s also a terrific resource for new employees. We’ll link to more detail about each of the terms we mention.

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Topics: Improvement Culture, Improvement Methodology

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