A Non-Lean Suggestion System

Thinking of employee suggestions, I had a flashback this week. Back when I worked at General Motors, we had a typical non-lean suggestion system. People could fill out a form with the idea, in triplicate, keep the green copy, something like that.

I left the company for grad school in 1997. I recall receiving a letter in the mail at least a year afterward, it might have even been early 1999 as I was getting ready to graduate.

The letter was a formal rejection, from GM, of my employee suggestion. That’s a perfect illustration of what NOT to do with a suggestion program.

It was a perfect reminder to me about why I was NOT going back to that company.


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Mark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Mark is a consultant, author, and speaker in the "Lean healthcare" methodology. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent project is an eBook titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

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2 Comments on "A Non-Lean Suggestion System"

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  1. A Different "Lock Box" — Lean Blog | July 27, 2011
  1. Anonymous says:

    Do you remember what the idea was? Maybe you should resubmit it?

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