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KaiNexus Blog

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Does Making Your Suggestion Box Electronic Make it Better?

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Oct 7, 2015 11:14:00 AM

Almost every business process is better when it’s digital. You wouldn’t create your P&L statement on ledger paper or keep your sales contacts in a Rolodex. So it stands to reason that the dusty suggestion box in the break room should go the way of the dial-up modem. Right?

Wrong. The fundamental reason that most suggestion boxes fail to generate innovative ideas that produce results isn’t because they are analog. Simply recreating something in digital form isn’t what makes it better.

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Topics: Suggestion Systems

The Relationship Between a Pirate and an Electronic Suggestion Box

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Sep 10, 2015 6:00:00 AM

One of the most iconic dastardly deeds associated with pirates is the act of making someone walk the plank. With each step the poor blindfolded victim with his hands tied moves closer to his doom. Using an electronic suggestion box is a bit like making your employees walk the plank. I’ll explain.

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Topics: Suggestion Systems

Think an Electronic Suggestion Box Will Lead to Improvement? Think Again.

Posted by Maggie Millard

May 13, 2015 7:43:00 AM

These days lots of the things that we used to do in the “real world” have moved to the internet. In many cases the electronic solution simply recreates the old way of doing things online. Ordering pizza is a good example. You can now order a pizza online. That’s pretty cool, and it’s slightly less hassle than calling it in. However, the people on the other end of the process still must roll out the dough, add the ingredients, cook the thing and transport it over to your house. If you’ve ordered one in the last few years, you probably agree that online ordering did not improve the quality of your pizza.

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Topics: Suggestion Systems, Employee Engagement

9 Reasons Your Suggestion Box Failed

Posted by Maggie Millard

Apr 20, 2015 7:56:00 AM

Suggestion boxes are a common, but ineffective, way to engage employees in continuous improvement. They’re usually implemented with the best of intentions by managers who genuinely want to hear their employees’ improvement ideas, but the boxes fail to produce the desired engagement.

If you’ve tried to implement a suggestion box system in your organization before, it likely failed due to one of these reasons:

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Topics: Suggestion Systems

6 Big Advantages of Idea Management Software

Posted by Maggie Millard

Nov 13, 2014 8:04:00 AM

Although the concept is fairly new, businesses are increasingly turning to idea management software to capture, manage, measure and reward employee recommendations for positive change. The software is being used in conjunction with process improvement methodologies like Six Sigma and Lean, or as a stand-alone approach to achieving operational excellence.  

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Topics: Innovation Software, Suggestion Systems, Software

Suggestion Box Humor

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Oct 16, 2014 8:59:00 AM

Have you ever noticed how often a "suggestion box" ends up as the gag in a comic strip? I've seen them set up above trap doors, attached to shredders, and even one that was rigged with the same exploding dye packs you hear about in bank robberies. There must be some pretty strong feelings for the same joke to keep playing out over and over for so many years. The suggestion box somehow came to symbolize a difficult relationship between managers and employees everywhere. That tells us something about how rarely most employees feel heard.

I doubt that anyone actually has set up bunkers and barbed wire around their "suggestion box," but there are a lot of little things that can be just as discouraging.  Here are some common and costly mistakes.

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Topics: Suggestion Systems, Employee Engagement

5 Things to Look for When Evaluating Improvement Software

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Sep 23, 2014 10:11:00 AM

Since the idea of improvement software is pretty new, it’s probably helpful to begin this blog by explaining what it is. Improvement software is a technology platform designed to capture the best ideas about how your organization can improve, support the process of assigning ownership, and manage the selected ideas through completion. It is a simple but powerful way to harness the energy of your organization to address issues around efficiency, customer satisfaction, safety, cost reduction, and your other most difficult challenges. But, as you might expect, all improvement software is not alike. Here are a few things that you should look for when evaluating solutions for improvement.

Ease-of-Use and Deployment

Let’s be honest. Implementing improvement software is giving your team one more technology tool to learn and use. Your improvement efforts will be limited if adoption is hindered by a clunky interface or difficult installation procedure. Look for solutions that are drop-dead simple to use and install. Better yet, choose a cloud-based solution with nothing to install at all. Also, keep in mind that ideas happen anywhere, and choose a solution that can be accessed from a mobile device so that ideas aren’t lost in transit.

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Topics: Innovation Software, Suggestion Systems, Software

Why Business Leaders are Embracing Idea Software

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Sep 9, 2014 9:06:00 AM

More and more business leaders are realizing that improvement and innovation do not happen without intent. This is leading to a rise in the use of business process management techniques such as Kaizen, Six Sigma, and Lean. Leaders are also embracing approaches such as Standard Work and DMAIC. Regardless of whether they use one of these approaches or another one, leaders are consistently realizing that a solution that brings structure to the process of gathering, implementing, and assessing employee suggestions for improvement is a necessary component of positive organizational change. 

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Topics: Innovation Software, Suggestion Systems, Employee Engagement, Software

Free eBook Download! Moving Forward: From Suggestion Boxes to KaiNexus

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jul 29, 2014 11:12:00 AM

We spend a lot of time at KaiNexus talking to people about the strategies they've tried when pursuing a culture of continuous improvement. One of the most common methods we hear about is a traditional suggestion box.

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Topics: Suggestion Systems

Why Suggestion Boxes Fail

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Apr 29, 2014 11:00:00 AM

Is There a Better Way?

Many organizations want to harness the ideas for improvement that naturally exist in their employees.  Unfortunately, many of the current suggestion box systems that have been used for years fail to engage workers and do not create a true culture of improvement.  In addition, the issues seem to be prevalent in both traditional suggestion boxes and the software systems available today.  

After hearing the same feedback time and again from our customers prior to implementing KaiNexus, I’ve summarized three reasons why your suggestion box system may not be driving the improvement you desire, along with some ideas on how you can fix it.

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Topics: Suggestion Systems

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