Tag: idea

Catch Them Early

Catch Them Early thumbnail

A couple of weeks ago, I came across an interesting idea. It’s a simple tactic that can be particularly helpful in newly launched idea programs, or programs that are struggling to get support from supervisors and managers. The tactic comes from Mary Jo Caldwell, the director of the continuous improvement (CI) effort for the State of Minnesota. The state’s CI program is relatively new, and vastly underfunded  »  Read More

Want to Improve Your Organization? Start by Knowing What You are Doing thumbnail

About fifteen years ago, I helped a medium sized residential homebuilder with development training for his management team. It was still relatively early in the lean movement era, and we met for two hours every Wednesday afternoon to discuss how lean philosophy and standard lean tools might apply to the company. The first topic in one of the early sessions was the importance of documenting work processes in order to  »  Read More

A High-Performing System Helps You Face An Uncertain Future With More Confidence thumbnail

A few years ago the CEO of a health insurance company asked me to help him set up and launch a high-performing idea system. He knew that his industry was about to go through major changes – Obamacare was just coming down the pike, as were some big changes in Medicaid and Medicare — and his company was going to have to be ready for them. But the problem was that neither he nor anyone else knew what the  »  Read More

The Most Important Number to Watch When Launching a High-Performing Idea System thumbnail

A few years after helping a medium-sized insurance company launch its idea system, I happened to bump into the CEO. I asked him how his company’s idea system was going. “It’s going very well,” he replied. (During the course of our brief conversation, it emerged that the system was getting approximately 25 implemented ideas per employee.) “In fact, if I tried to stop it now, I would probably have a  »  Read More

The Idea System Comes Before the Culture Change thumbnail

Sometimes, as a consultant, your client does not follow your advice. When setting up and launching a high-performing idea system, many leaders want to work on their organization’s culture first, before launching their idea system. They want to lead with the culture – that is, make the idea process voluntary and encouraged, and not part of the required work – in the hopes that when the culture “takes”, the  »  Read More

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