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KaiNexus Blog

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The Fundamental Principles of Kaizen Project Management

Posted by Kade Jansson

Jun 14, 2021 12:49:13 PM

The continuous improvement methodology of Kaizen was once closely associated with industrial and automotive manufacturing. That’s because the Kaizen philosophy originated in the Japanese auto industry and was then later adopted by technology manufacturers like GE and Motorola.

But if you’ve been hearing about Kaizen project management in other sectors over the last few years, you are not alone.

The principles of Kaizen can lead to continuous improvement in almost every industry. The approach is now widespread in healthcare, construction, software development, education, logistics, and everything in between.

You won’t learn everything about Kaizen in any one blog post, but we can lay out the fundamentals of Kaizen project management.

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Topics: Kaizen, Leadership, Improvement Methodology

Wondering Where to Start? 30 Business Process Improvement Examples

Posted by Maggie Millard

Mar 9, 2021 10:13:00 AM

One thing we hear from leaders who are looking to implement a structured approach to business process improvement is that it is difficult to explain to employees how to spot an opportunity for improvement. There are usually a few straightforward ideas that people point to right away, but once they are taken care of, it can be challenging to spot problems in processes, especially those you engage with every day.

An effective way to overcome this problem is to give employees categories of improvement opportunities to consider. Priming the pump with some examples and providing some questions to ask is an excellent way to get people thinking creatively. Of course, every business is different, and all of these examples might not apply to you, but here are 30 ideas that might spark a few of your own.

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Topics: Leadership, Spread Continuous Improvement, Improvement Process

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

7 New Leadership and Management Books We Love

Posted by Taylor Edwards

Feb 11, 2021 11:13:00 AM

The year 2020 will no doubt claim a chapter in the history books of the future. While it was a very challenging year in many ways, we did find a bright spot in the literature surrounding leadership and management. With some extra time on our hands, we uncovered some excellent resources. In the spirit of Valentine's day, we'd like to spread a little love. We hope you enjoy these new additions to our list of favorite inspirational reads.

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Topics: Leadership, Improvement Process

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

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

The Lessons We’re Thankful For This Year

Posted by JJ Puentes

Nov 24, 2020 11:00:00 AM

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches in this most difficult year, it is undeniably human to focus on all that is lost. The toll of this pandemic is enormous even for those not directly affected by COVID. But light can often be found in the darkest of places. This year, we’ve been reminded of a few truths that give us hope for a brighter future for ourselves, our team, and our community.

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Topics: Leadership, Improvement Culture

The Right Way to Talk About Standard Work with Your Staff

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Nov 12, 2020 1:01:47 PM

We've written about standard work in the past, but it is often a topic that is overlooked or misunderstood in the continuous improvement process of many organizations, so it's definitely worth revisiting. If you’re in the process of implementing LeanKaizen, Six Sigma, or another method of continuous improvement, we strongly recommend making standard work a part of your process.

What is Standard Work?

Standard work is the practice of setting, communicating, following, and improving standards.

Establishing standard work begins with creating, clarifying, and sharing information about the most efficient method to perform a task that is currently known with everyone performing that process. Once this information has been shared, everyone practices this standard consistently so that the work is done the best way every time. This is where continuous improvement comes into play; standard work isn't a "set it and forget it" process, announced once and then permanently unchanging. Instead, everyone should work to improve the standard, and share new best practices as they're discovered.

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Topics: Lean, Leadership

Implementing a Culture of Improvement in Healthcare

Posted by Clint Corley

Nov 10, 2020 11:20:18 AM

Across the globe, healthcare leaders are working hard to implement the principles of continuous improvement in their organizations. Continuous improvement is a systematic, repeatable approach to enhancing the quality of care and patients' health outcomes. Building a culture of continuous improvement is not a short-term project or a quick fix but a journey that never ends. It requires commitment, investment, and persistence.

The goal of continuous improvement is operational excellence, which represents a way of working that delivers improvements in care quality and safety through the use of continuous improvement techniques. Improvement is owned and delivered by frontline staff and reinforced by ongoing training, technology, and supported by the entire organization.

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Topics: Leadership, Improvement Culture, Lean Healthcare

How to Become a True Leader (No Matter Your Title)

Posted by Kade Jansson

Nov 3, 2020 10:17:09 AM

When people talk about the inner workings of organizations, we often use the word “leader” as a shortcut for “executive.” But the truth is, not all executives are leaders and not all leaders are executives. Anyone, no matter what their title or where they sit on the org chart, can demonstrate leadership and inspire others to achieve great things. Leadership is a set of skills and attitudes that can’t be attained by changing what it says on your business card.

Although she may seem like an odd person to quote in a blog about leadership, we agree with the amazing Dolly Parton. She said,

“If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.”

So how do you strengthen your leadership skills? Here are some practical steps you can take whether you are the CEO or a front-line employee.

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Topics: Leadership, Improvement Culture

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