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KaiNexus Blog

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Improvement Culture: 4 Signs of Trouble

Posted by Brianna Hudock

Oct 14, 2020 10:30:00 AM

Modern leaders are fortunate to have a host of proven continuous improvement tools like DMAIC, Standard Work, kanban, Hoshin Kanri, and more. We owe a lot to those who pioneered Lean management and other methodologies that bake quality improvement into daily business processes.

These tools are available to everyone, but not all organizations that strive for improvement achieve it. Why is that?

It's because the tools alone are not enough. The deciding factor in whether or not CI can be achieved is based on the people. Results depend on how people think, what they believe is possible, and the decisions they make big and small. In short, without a culture that supports improvement, success is unlikely.

If you've struggled to get what you want out of your improvement program, culture is the first place to look for both problems and solutions. Here are four signs that a culture isn't conducive to improvement.

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Topics: Leadership, Improvement Culture

Top 10 Tips for Onboarding Remote Employees

Posted by Taylor Edwards

Oct 6, 2020 11:48:05 AM

Many employers put off hiring over the summer, hoping that the COVID-19 situation would improve, and office life would return to normal soon. Well, now that it's October and there still is no end in sight, more organizations are deciding to resume hiring even though everyone is still working remotely.

The transition to remote work has been tough enough on its own, but bringing on a new hire, getting them trained and acclimated to the culture without ever meeting them in person is a big ask. We've put together a few tips to help, if you find yourself in this situation. With a good plan and the right technology in place, it is entirely possible to welcome team members who will contribute to your organization's success even in these challenging times.

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Topics: Leadership, Improvement Culture

Twitter’s “Blame Processes, Not People” Moment

Posted by Danielle Yoon

Sep 28, 2020 3:12:13 PM

With the blistering speed of this summer’s news cycle, we can’t blame you if you’ve already forgotten about the single largest security incident in Twitter’s history that took place on July 15 but was a doozy. It was also a teachable moment for Twitter and every other organization that involves people and technology. 

What Happened?

Early in the day on July 15, 2020, Twitter’s automated detection systems flagged some suspicious activity. Several Twitter accounts with short handles, like @USA, @drug, @love, and others, seemed to be compromised. These short handles are valued among certain hacker communities, so Twitter knows to keep an eye out for unusual access. The appropriate people were notified, and they began looking into the issue. Security incidents like this are common when you have a platform with hundreds of millions of users.

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Topics: Lean, Improvement Culture, Improvement Process

Continuous Improvement in Financial Services

Posted by Clint Corley

Sep 15, 2020 11:00:00 AM

When people think of structured continuous improvement methodologies like Lean and Six Sigma, they usually associate it with manufacturing. However, these days, financial services firms, under immense pressure to reduce operational costs and improve efficiencies and effectiveness, are embracing formal continuous improvement programs. Many of the most popular methodologies can easily be tailored to the needs of financial services firms. They can also take advantage of the technology leveraged in other sectors to support improvement.

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Topics: Improvement Culture, Spread Continuous Improvement

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

The Interviewer’s Guide to Hiring for a Kaizen Culture

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Jun 16, 2020 9:30:00 AM

Organizations that practice kaizen work hard to maintain a culture centered around continuous improvement. The best defense against push back and poor engagement is hiring only those employees who are likely to thrive in a culture of positive change.

Ideally, the conversation about continuous improvement will begin the moment a candidate is considered. Talking about the principles of kaizen during the interview will show the potential hire how important it is to the organization. The right questions can help you identify those who will do well in your organization and those who should look elsewhere.

Here are a few questions that will give you insight into how the candidate thinks.

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Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Culture

How to Build Your Continuous Improvement Culture

Posted by Danielle Yoon

Apr 20, 2020 3:00:00 PM

Are you struggling to drive a continuous improvement culture in your organization?

Do you need to revive a CI culture that has lost momentum? 

If you’re like so many others, it can be difficult to know which questions to ask, and where to start.

Jeff Roussel, chief revenue officer of KaiNexus and a true continuous improvement leader and believer, recently joined Allison Greco, founder of Continuous Improvement International, to talk about how you can build a continuous improvement culture. To watch a full recap, click here.

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Topics: Improvement Culture

Continuous Quality Improvement is Hard to Sustain. We Know Why.

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Feb 25, 2020 12:23:46 PM

Has your organization started a quality improvement program with great fanfare and a ton of enthusiasm only to see it peter out over time? If so, you are not alone. Starting down the path to continuous improvement is easy. Sustaining momentum is not.

This post examines some of the most common reasons that CI programs go off the rails and how you can avoid or recover from them.

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Topics: Improvement Culture, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

Put Your Suggestion Box Online to Help Avoid Becoming The Office?

Posted by Matt Banna

Feb 3, 2020 10:40:48 AM

If the internet is any clue, I’m not the only one who was prompted by its 10th anniversary to re-watch a bunch of old episodes of The Office.

(For fans, there’s a great new podcast called Office Ladies featuring Jenna Fischer (Pam) and Angela Kinsey (Angela). They walk through each episode sharing the inside scoop.)

There’s an episode during the second season in which Dunder Mifflin Paper Company’s branch manager, Michael Scott, learns that his boss is coming for a visit later that day to hear his ideas on how to make the branch perform better.

Of course, he’s Michael Scott, so he has no idea how to make the branch perform better. In a panic, he remembers that there is a suggestion box for collecting employee ideas for improvement. He figures that is the solution to his situation. He calls all of the employees into the conference room and opens the box.

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Topics: Innovation Software, Suggestion Systems, Improvement Culture

7 Proactive Ways to Improve Workplace Culture and Engagement

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jan 28, 2020 3:27:46 PM

While it is a little dated, The Deloitte University Press Global Human Capital Trends 2016 report has probably the most useful definition of culture and engagement that we’ve seen. The report notes that “Culture describes the way things work around here, while engagement describes how people feel about the way things work around here.”

That simple statement explains why a Dennison Consulting study found that organizations with thriving cultures have a 72% higher engagement rate than those without.

What’s shocking, given that 85% of the 7,000 plus executives Deloitte surveyed ranked engagement as a top priority, is that fewer than one in three executives reported that they understand their organizations’ culture.

If you want to move the lever on engagement, you must address culture, but how?

Here are seven things that leaders can do to start changing “the way things work around here.”

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Topics: Improvement Culture, Operational Excellence

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