By September 5, 2012 0 Comments Read More →

New Two-Day On-Site Workshop Offering: “Kaizen Kickoff”

Last weekend was the start of the college football season (Go ‘Cats!) and tonight is the “kickoff” of the NFL season, which (of course) starts with an opening kickoff. And, I mean “American football,” for my global readers.

So, in honor of the start of the season, the launch of a new two-day on-site workshop related to our new book  Healthcare Kaizen is called “Kaizen Kickoff.” What better time to start a continuous improvement program in your organization? Well, I guess “any time” is a great time to start – as in “today.”

Maybe “Kaizen Kickoff” isn’t the best term… we can make seasonal adjustments or maybe “Kaizen Kickstart” works as well…

But on the real meat of the issue.

Kaizen Kickoff is a two-day workshop that I’ve piloted once – doing some pro-bono work at a non-profit organization in my former home of Fort Worth, Texas. I have the chance to do a hospital pilot later this month.

I’ve done a lot of Kaizen coaching and training over the past seven years in healthcare – but always in the context of longer consulting engagements that had broader goals.

Here, I’ve developed a standalone two-day working session that’s designed to give a department and its staff and leaders HANDS-ON experience, providing coaching to them as they start an ongoing continuous improvement and staff engagement program.

I hesitate to call this a “workshop,” because it’s not a “Rapid Process Improvement Workshop,” aka “Kaizen Event.” RPIWs (also known as RIEs, or Rapid Improvement Events) are episodic team-based projects that often last a week. But, what I’m doing isn’t just “training,” because it’s action oriented and results in a working pilot Kaizen program.

What I’m teaching is a model for daily continuous improvement – ala “quick and easy kaizen” or other approaches getting people to identify problems and test small-scale improvements using the PDSA model. This daily kaizen approach is very compatible with RIEs, RPIWs, etc.

At the non-profit (and I’ll be writing about them soon, with their permission), a department of about 12 people was their initial pilot area (long story… but they were very interested in Kaizen as a way of meeting the quality improvement goals of their accreditation process, among other reasons). Over the first three months, they implemented over 50 Kaizen improvements and the program is going strong.

The non-profit is now, with my remote coaching, spreading their Kaizen approach into other departments (there is a lot of “pull” for this within the organization).

The two-days has some training, but a lot of action and a lot of one-on-one coaching. Kaizen isn’t that complicated, but it requires leadership and effort. I think this two-day “Kickoff” injects a bit of energy, the transfer of some lessons learned, and a methodology to make a broad goal of continuous improvement become a reality.

To learn a bit more, visit the Consulting page of our  Healthcare Kaizen website. I’m still revising the two-page brochure based on feedback from some friends, but if you are interested in learning more, click here to contact me – and, hopefully, we can talk about this on the phone, as well.

I’m curious to hear what you think and if I can be of assistance to you and your organization.


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Now Available – The updated, expanded, and revised 3rd Edition of Mark Graban’s Shingo Research Award-Winning Book Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety, and Employee Engagement. You can buy the book today, including signed copies from the author.


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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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