Hi, I’m Greg Jacobson from KaiNexus, where we make improvement happen.
One of the problems with the traditional suggestion box system is that ideas typically get accepted or rejected by managers or a committee who do so without talking to the person who submitted the idea. It's not unusual to have just 2-3 percent of suggestions get approved in those systems. When an idea or suggestion is turned down, this is of course discouraging, and people stop submitting ideas.
KaiNexus is based on modern improvement principles where the role of the supervisor isn’t just to accept or reject ideas; the job of leaders is to work with employees to communicate and collaborate to implement ideas, or to find something else that can be implemented that addresses the opportunity for improvement. A good benchmark for a Kaizen system is Toyota, where it’s said that 90% of employee ideas are implemented. It’s not necessarily the original idea that’s implemented, but something that addresses it. Many of our customers are coming close to that goal - in fact, nearly 80% of all opportunities for improvement submitted by KaiNexus customers lead to some sort of positive change.
Here’s a great example. One of your employees submits the idea to invest in building a brand new parking garage. In almost every case, the improvement committee is going to reject the idea simply based on cost. But wouldn’t it be better for the manager to dig a little deeper into the root cause of this request and find out that customers are really complaining about getting wet when it rains? A simple solution of extra umbrellas or reserved visitor parking is an easy fix, and can have a profound impact on customer satisfaction. That’s one reason why, in KaiNexus, the author of an opportunity for improvement is continually in the loop and can make comments on the opportunity for improvement while it's being worked on.
The next time you have an idea, log in to KaiNexus and enter the opportunity for improvement. That’s not the end of thinking about the improvement; it’s just the beginning.
Blog Post: How Leadership Influences Company Culture
Blog Post: End Innovation Evaporation with Idea Software
Blog Post: Barriers to Continuous Improvement: Excuses to Make or Problems to Solve?
Blog Post: Empowering Staff Can't Just Be Lip Service