KaiNexus Education Video #8 — Fast Responses to Ideas


kainexus-logo 250wHere is video #8 in our series of  short, simple Kaizen education videos from KaiNexus, a software startup where I am on the management team (see the whole series here).  We're also making the videos available on our YouTube Channel and our education videos playlist. Subscribe to our channel to be notified of each new one that's released.

Click here to see all of the videos through my blog or here to view them on the KaiNexus website. We also have an RSS feed and a podcast on the iTunes Store.

This video talks about the importance of managers giving FAST response to ideas. Unlike a suggestion box, where ideas can sit for weeks or months, an effective Kaizen-style system requires nearly immediate feedback and collaboration… that's the only way to really engage people in improvement and to avoid frustration.

Video updated September, 2014 – View on YouTube

Approximate Transcript of the video:

  • Video #8 – Ideas Deserve a Fast Response

Hi, I'm Greg Jacobson from KaiNexus, where we make improvement happen.

In successful kaizen improvement programs, one of the most important things is giving a FAST response to opportunities for improvement. While ideas might sit for a month or two in a traditional suggestion box, leaders need to respond to OIs within a day or two… at least acknowledging the OI even if a solution can't be put in place right away.

So, it's important that leaders at all levels take some time each day to follow up on new OIs. Making improvement a priority sends a powerful messages and those actions reinforce the importance of improvement more than words ever could. Managers need to respond to their employees' input and senior leaders need to ensure the managers under them are responding promptly.

Each day, managers should take a few minutes, prompted by their daily digest email, to log into KaiNexus to review and assign new OIs. Much of the communication can happen through KaiNexus.    Managers who have a question about an OI can talk to the employee face to face or bring up the OI at a team huddle or meeting.

As a staff member, there are ways you can hold your leaders accountable…  you can enter a comment about your OI in KaiNexus… or, better yet, talk to your manager when you see them… ask about the OI … in many cases, you can be empowered to  start taking action.

KaiNexus helps make improvement easier partly because the communication about the improvement happens more quickly… so don't wait, participate… in improvement today.

Our experience shows the most successful improvement programs are those where leaders consistently follow these guidelines – quickly responding to new OIs. Managers can best demonstrate their enthusiasm for improvement by responding quickly, which leads to more enthusiasm and more participation from their employees.


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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. kevin kobett says

    “Each day, managers should take a few minutes, prompted by their daily digest email, to log into KaiNexus to review and assign new OIs.”

    What does the OI assignee do? How are they chosen? Can anyone become an OI assignee?

    “Managers who have a question about an OI can talk to the employee face to face or bring up the OI at a team huddle or meeting.”

    How does a manager’s role differ from the OI assignee”s role?


    1. Gregory Jacobson says

      The person that is assigned the OI is the lead in the evaluation and possible implementation of the OI. Anyone can be assigned the OI. It is often the author themselves.

      Supervisors and leaders and can assign the OI to people they lead. A manager is a role in the organization, assignee or, what we call the “responsible,” is an role or relationship to an OI.

      Hope this helps.

      CEO KaiNexus

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