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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

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Kaizen 101. New to The Approach? Start Here.

Posted by Matt Banna

Mar 23, 2021 10:16:00 AM

The world was first introduced to kaizen's philosophy and practice in 1986 with Masaaki Imai's book, Kaizen, The Key to Japan's Competitive Success. Today, it still holds up as an excellent read for anyone interested in finding ways to make their organization more successful at achieving continuous improvement. 

While kaizen concepts are straightforward, volumes have been written about how organizations build the improvement mindset into operations and culture. Our goal with this post is to give you the basic framework of kaizen and hopefully leave you excited about exploring the ways you might begin to transform your organization into one that consistently exhibits operational excellence.

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Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Culture, Improvement Methodology

6 Principles of the Continuous Improvement Model

Posted by Maggie Millard

Mar 11, 2021 12:06:58 PM

There are a host of methodologies that businesses use to bring structure to the process of identifying and acting upon opportunities for improvement. You may be familiar with Six Sigma, Kaizen, Lean, Toyota Production System, and others. Although these methodologies differ, the heart of each of them is the continuous improvement model. 

The continuous improvement model reflects the idea that organizations should undertake incremental improvements to services, products, and processes. It is guided by a few core principles:

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Topics: Improvement Culture, Spread Continuous Improvement

The Urgent Need for Empathy In the Workplace

Posted by Adam Darnell

Feb 16, 2021 10:38:00 AM

Empathy is the ability to understand someone else’s feelings. It is a prerequisite for compassion. In 2021, compassion is in more demand than ever.

While empathy might not come up very often in business discussions, the importance of empathy in the workplace is backed up by data. The Businessolver State of Empathy in the Workplace study found:

  • 82% of employees would consider leaving their job for a more empathetic employer.
  • 78% of employees would work longer hours for an empathetic employer.

 

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Topics: Leadership, Improvement Culture

Virtual Improvement FAQs

Posted by Brianna Hudock

Jan 26, 2021 11:18:56 AM

When the COVID-19 pandemic first struck the US at scale in March of 2020, many organizations scrambled to transition to a remote work model. For most, the initial goal was to maintain operations while keeping employees safe. Very few people at the time anticipated the duration of the need for stay-at-home orders and widespread social distancing. 

Now that we are into 2021, vaccine distribution has been started, but the end is not yet in sight. The need for distancing and masks will likely continue well into the summer and possibly beyond.

The news for business is not all bad, however. While remote work certainly presents obstacles, there are benefits as well. Some employers have found that they can attract talented workers by hiring the best, not necessarily the closest. Many employees enjoy the increased flexibility of remote work and the environmental consequences of no commute. Employers who embrace the remote work model or a hybrid model can cut down the costs of office space.

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Topics: Improvement Culture, Improvement Process

The Path to Operational Excellence in Healthcare

Posted by Kade Jansson

Jan 7, 2021 11:05:00 AM

Across the world, healthcare leaders are increasingly striving to embed the principles of operational excellence and continuous improvement in their organizations. Empowering clinical and operational staff to deliver safe, high-quality, reliable care can significantly change results.

Achieving continuous improvement requires a systematic, sustainable approach to enhancing the quality of care and patients' health outcomes. Establishing a culture of constant improvement is not a quick fix but a journey that never ends. It requires ongoing commitment, investment, and persistence.

Here is the prerequisite for excellence.

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Topics: Improvement Culture, Lean Healthcare, Improvement Process

Continuous Improvement Goal Suggestions for 2021

Posted by Matt Banna

Jan 5, 2021 10:45:00 AM

I don't think I'm going out on a limb when I say that I believe we are all glad to have 2020 in the rearview mirror. While life isn't going back to normal any time soon, there is hope on the horizon. The COIVD-19 vaccine rollout is on the way, and our healthcare professionals have made great strides in treatment for the disease. 

Last year at about this time, we laid out some suggested continuous improvement resolutions for 2020. If the pandemic thwarted your plans and best intentions, give yourself a pass. No one knew what unprecedented challenges would arise.

But this is an excellent time to begin again. Even knowing that COVID-related disruptions will continue, it is still a healthy exercise to think about what your team can accomplish for continuous improvement in 2021. You'll have to consider your unique priorities, but we do have some suggestions for goals that will help your organization achieve excellence in the coming year.

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Improvement Culture, Improvement Methodology, Strategy Deployment

Leader Standard Work: A Foundation for Improvement Culture

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Dec 15, 2020 11:11:00 AM

In some organizations, the leaders who are good at putting out fires are considered the best managers. But what if, instead of putting out fires, leaders had the luxury to spend time on fire prevention? What if, when the rare flame was spotted, every leader was skilled in identifying and correcting the root cause? These conditions are possible with an approach called Leader Standard Work.

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Topics: Leadership, Improvement Culture, Improvement Process

7 Surefire Ways to Promote a Continuous Improvement Culture

Posted by Maggie Millard

Dec 10, 2020 11:46:16 AM

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, famously said, “If you get the culture right, most of the other stuff will just take care of itself.” He might not have been thinking of a continuous improvement culture specifically, but he’s right. Culture is the foundation on which success is built.

Strong leaders build the foundation for the culture they want to achieve. If you believe that the path to success for your organization involves continuous improvement, these actions will help you create the culture you need.

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Topics: Improvement Culture

Continuous Improvement Predictions for 2021

Posted by Noah Paratore

Dec 8, 2020 11:00:00 AM

If you think trying to predict anything that will happen in 2021 is insane after what’s happened this year, you have a point. But by applying the lessons learned from 2020 and some strong trends that make sense in this new normal, we think we have a reasonably good idea about what to expect concerning continuous improvement next year.

Here are our predictions. We’ll check back in a year to see how close we came.

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

6 Steps to Improvement in Manufacturing

Posted by Brianna Hudock

Dec 1, 2020 3:59:48 PM

One of the most important responsibilities of managers in manufacturing environments is to contain costs. The most obvious cost to eliminate is the cost of low quality. Defective products and lost labor hours add no value to the customer and represent a significant strain on the organization.

To eliminate the waste of low quality, a strategic approach to improvement is essential. Here are five steps that support quality improvement in a meaningful, sustainable way.

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

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