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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

5 Easy Improvement Ideas to Get Ready for 2020

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Dec 27, 2019 11:14:00 AM

I’m not sure about you, but at this time of the year, I don’t feel like tackling any major new projects. There seem to be a ton of interruptions, people are in and out of the office, and it is just harder to focus with holiday thoughts on the brain. On the other hand, these next couple of weeks present an opportunity to do a few self-contained improvement projects that can tee up 2020 and help you enjoy the holidays knowing you’re ready to rock the new year.

Here are a few ideas. If you tackle any one of them, you’ll feel like you’ve accomplished something useful amid all of the year-end excitement.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Improvement Culture, Improvement Process

Leadership Techniques for Overcoming Resistance to Change

Posted by Maggie Millard

Dec 26, 2019 11:12:00 AM

People like to joke that the only things that never change are death and taxes, but that's just not true. If it were, you would never hear things like, "That's just the way we've always done it," and, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Not changing, even if the current situation is rife with workarounds and rework, is more comfortable and less risky than trying something new, so it's no wonder that people push back when leaders try to shake things up.

But if you're reading this blog, you likely know that change is a vital business imperative. Overcoming your team's natural resistance to change isn't impossible, but it takes intention and effort. Here are some of the techniques that our customers have found work well.

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Topics: Leadership, Improvement Culture, Improvement Process

Employee Engagement in 2020 – Meeting the Needs of Millennials

Posted by Matt Banna

Dec 23, 2019 1:09:00 PM

By the end of next year, Millennials (those born between about 1980 and 2000) are expected to comprise half of the American workforce. By 2025, 75 percent of the global workforce will belong to this group. Many large companies, including Ernst & Young and Accenture, have already reported that Millennials make up over two-thirds of their entire employee base.

In some ways, millennials aren't much different than previous generations. They want the opportunity to learn and grow while making a living that will support their families.

But there are some differences in how this generation that grew up amid modern technology and global connectedness approaches work. For example, nine out of every 10 Millennials expect to change jobs every three years. This means most Millennials will have 15 to 20 jobs in their lifetimes. A far different reality than the baby boomer ideal of being a "company man" for life.

With the changing expectations of the younger workforce, employers need to adapt to find workable solutions that help everyone meet their goals. That's leading to a change in the traditional approach to employee engagement.

Company picnics and Employee of the Month programs are giving way to more meaningful engagement strategies. Here are a few that will continue to gain traction in 2020.

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Topics: Leadership, Employee Engagement, Improvement Culture

What I Learned by Leaving Toyota

Posted by Clint Corley

Nov 19, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Our 2019 KaiNexicon event in Austin was a tremendous success, thanks to all of our fabulous participants and speakers. Lots of valuable information was shared, and long-term connections formed.

The event kicked off with a Keynote from Jess Orr of WestRock Company. This post is a recap of her presentation. We invite you to watch the video as well.

Jess Orr is a continuous improvement manager with over 12 years of experience working in a variety of industries. Her approach has been greatly influenced by the time she spent working directly for Toyota in Georgetown, KY. Jess focuses on equipping and guiding people in the application of improvement principles and practices to elevate the performance of their organizations.

 


Jess shared that she worked for Toyota in Georgetown, Kentucky, for several years. Her experience of working there was utterly transformative, both personally and professionally. Due to some personal circumstances, she had to leave Toyota about four years ago, which was a difficult thing to do. Although it was devastating at the time, in hindsight, Jess believes it is one of the best things that ever happened to her.

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Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Culture, Spread Continuous Improvement, KaiNexus User Conference

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