Guest Post: What’s Needed in Developing a Kaizen Culture
Today’s guest post is by Duke Rohe, a Quality Improvement Education Consultant at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. I know Duke from his ongoing involvement with the Society for Health Systems. Check out his previous guest post on Kaizen (continuous improvement).
Kaizen Success Factors
- Create a receptive environment for ideas – It starts with the manager then cascades to the staff. No one is above generating improvements and no one is without the ability to make improvement.
- Address every idea received with importance. It’s important to its contributor. Take the time to help the contributor develop it or to realize it’s not do-able.
- Create a system of consistent reception, feedback, nurturing, cost justifying, recognition, broadcasting, and deployment.
- Encourage, even fight for the little idea. Idea is the life of change. It honors the person who generated it and it sends a message of value to all who are watching.
- Develop an expectation for idea generation. Try one a month per employee. Proclaim a war on waste. Every problem that arises is great material for an idea.
- Remove barriers which impede implementation. Get petty cash, outside assistance, approvals… whatever you can to make implementation a down-hill slide.
- Keep the idea initiator apprised of idea status once it’s submitted. Time and lack of communication work against the generation of future idea.
- Require initiator to evaluate the total cost, including other areas impacted, and to derive the time value or potential savings from the idea.
- Implement the idea (which turns it into an innovation) with clarity to all who encounter it. If possible, integrate needed instruction at the point of the innovation’s use.
- Broadcast the knowledge of the innovation to all who need to know of its introduction. Brag on its initiator. Take a before and after picture. Get others to apply it in their area if appropriate.
- Sustain it. Catalogue your innovations to remind you of where you’ve come from and to keep check to see if it is still enforced and useful.
Learn more about the upcoming SHS conference next month. I’m sure Duke will be there, as usual. I’ll be presenting, as will be my Healthcare Kaizen co-author, Joe Swartz. Hope to see you there, it’s a great event.
Don’t forget my reader book raffle, where I’m giving away a copy of one of my books to one winner. Read more and enter the contest here.
LEI online Lean Healthcare class reminder:
The Lean Enterprise Institute has been experimenting with online webinar-based education (including a class by my friend Dan Markovitz). I’m happy to be doing an online “Key Concepts of Lean in Healthcare” class with them this February. I’ll be teaching the class in four 2-hour segments across two weeks, with homework to be done in between the classes. Click here or on the image below to learn more and to sign up.