Free Webinar August 21 – From Suggestion Boxes to Kaizen


Free Webinar on Tuesday, August 21, 2 pm ET

I will be giving a free webinar titled:

Healthcare Kaizen: The Suggestion Box is Dead

If you can't attend live, it will be recorded and available afterward.

Thanks to my friend  Karen Martin  (check out her new book The Outstanding Organization) for playing host.

I'll talk about the differences between the traditional suggestion box system (which is generally very ineffective) and a modern “kaizen” approach to continuous improvement.


Get New Posts Sent To You

Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

  1. Duke says

    How about “in addition to” the suggestion box instead of as a replacement for. Many organizations have been very successful at managing suggestion systems. Likely ideal for different ideas than a kaizen blitz might be able to deal with (e.g., amount of time required to evaluate & implement solution).

    1. Mark Graban says

      Great question — this is where there is confusion in terminology in the Lean world.

      By “kaizen,” I mean continuous improvement that’s practiced daily, not events. I’m referring to methods like “quick and easy kaizen,” as taught by Norman Bodek, Masaaki Imai, and others.

      The word kaizen has been a bit co-opted to mean, to many people, “weeklong events.” I prefer the term “Rapid Improvement Event” for that. Others call it a “blitz,” like you say. An event is fine for certain big problems that require a team, but daily kaizen is often the small stuff (that’s “quick and easy” to implement). Not everything has to be a weeklong event.

      We can have (and need) both events AND daily continuous improvement.

      The question is does a “suggestion box” system work as well as a modern kaizen system that’s visual, transparent, fast, and collaborative?

      I’ve found organizations that are successful with suggestion systems don’t use a “box” — a box leads to an approach that’s slow, opaque, non-collaborative, and (often) anonymous.

      It doesn’t have to be that way, but that’s what I’ve seen 90% of the time with suggestion box systems in healthcare — they don’t work. That’s not the box’s fault… it’s how the system is managed.

      I hope you’ll tune into the webinar and let me know what you think.


  2. Mark Graban says

    Here are slides from the webinar. Recording coming soon.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.