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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

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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

How to Set Continuous Improvement Goals to See Real Results

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Oct 29, 2020 12:53:42 PM

We all identify goals to improve ourselves in some way. Whether our goal is to eat better, exercise more, spend more time with our family, or increase our productivity, we all have something we're striving for. Although in too many instances, we lose sight of our goals and fall back to old behaviors and the same results.

Continuous improvement is no different. So many organizations set out on a journey of continuous improvement with gusto and quickly lose momentum, causing their initiative to struggle. How do you prevent your organization from slipping back into bad habits? A sustaining culture of continuous improvement is supported by strategic goal setting.

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Topics: Leadership, Spread Continuous Improvement, ROI

How To Reduce Waste with More Productive Meetings

Posted by Matt Banna

Oct 20, 2020 10:56:00 AM

Even before the pandemic, most American workers felt that they were being forced into wasteful or even counterproductive meetings regularly. According to a study by Korn Ferry, 51% of professionals reported that spending too much time in meetings and on calls distracts them from making an impact at work to some extent. Another 16% said that it was true to a great extent. A whopping 67% of workers said excessive meetings keep them from getting their best work done.

Think that the sudden work to remote work driven by COVID-19 means fewer meetings? Think again.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Leadership, Daily Lean Management

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

Why Simplicity Was Essential for CI at a Nuclear Plant

Posted by Danielle Yoon

Sep 30, 2020 9:00:00 AM

The principles of Lean and continuous improvement methodologies originated from manufacturing, but there’s no doubt that they have been applied to other industries quite successfully, such as nuclear energy. The nuclear industry believes that there is no defect or opportunity that is too small to go after, and there’s always room for improvement. This important principle is a cornerstone belief of what many refer to as a High-Reliability Organization or HRO

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Topics: Lean, Leadership, Spread Continuous Improvement

The 4 Most Important Behaviors For Continuous Improvement Leadership

Posted by Maggie Millard

Aug 27, 2020 1:43:57 PM

McKinsey published a study that reveals the four most important behaviors of successful leaders. As the report says, “Over 90% of CEOs are already planning to increase investment in leadership development because they see it as the single most important human-capital issue their organizations face.” McKinsey research has often emphasized the importance of good leadership for organizational health.

Although everyone knows leadership is important, there’s long been a lingering question of what aspects of leadership are most important to develop and reward. Should the focus be on communicating with staff? Modeling desired behaviors? Making quick decisions, or encouraging staff engagement? With so many leadership behaviors in the pot, it’s no wonder CEOs are unsure of which ones to focus on; only 43% of CEOs feel their investment in leadership will yield results.

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Topics: Leadership

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