Don’t Digitize the Suggestion Box — Improve a Better Way with Kaizen and KaiNexus


Digital transformation is about rethinking and reinventing with digital tools. For over 13 years, KaiNexus has moved beyond the outdated suggestion box model.

Traditional suggestion boxes, whether paper or digital, often fail (or usually fail!–ideas get locked away, reviewed by a select few, and lead to frustration.

We believe in dynamic platforms that foster real-time communication and collaboration.

Don't digitize the old, broken way of doing things!

Mark Graban:
Don't digitize the old broken process. Whether that's a suggestion box or anything else, digital transformation is about rethinking reinventing the way we do things with digital tools. From the beginning, more than 13 years ago, KaiNexus has never been an electronic suggestion box because suggestion boxes don't work, whether it's in paper form or an online digital form. Why is that? Suggestion boxes in the paper model have a locked box.

Ideas sit. Some special person with a key opens up box maybe once a month, maybe once a quarter. Some far off team talks about those suggestions without coming back to talk to the person who filled out that suggestion box slip. People give up on suggestion boxes, and it's understandable. So we don't want an electronic or a digital version of that.

What we do want is a digital process with proven, continuous improvement methods. We often refer to this as Kaizen, engaging people in opportunity identification, not just jumping to solutions but bringing forward a problem so we can talk about it locally and then escalate it to management by exception. Don't digitize the old, broken way of doing things.

A short video from 2012:

A Webinar from 2012:

See other posts related to suggestion boxes, including these favorites of mine:

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


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