Driving LEAN forward with Good Ideas

LEANHow often do you change workflows as a result of your own good ideas? How often do people on your team share good ideas with you? If this is not a daily occurrence, you could be missing a huge opportunity!


Ideas are the fuel that powers LEAN. We focus a lot of effort on increasing both the quantity and quality of employee ideas because the flow of those ideas indicates a lot about the engagement and urgency of our teams. McKenney’s has developed the MyGoodIdea program, which gives our employees an opportunity to provide feedback about the company in a safe environment.


In the past four years, there have been nearly 4,000 ideas submitted through the MyGoodIdea program. The number of ideas has grown more than 100 percent each year since the program started. I believe there are several keys to the success of MyGoodIdea:

  • Environment – ideas are presented to an impartial team, making it safe for employees to submit any idea. No idea is off limits.
  • Empowerment – the MyGoodIdea team helps employees identify next steps to test their ideas and then share them with the company.
  • Experiment – we approach every idea as an experiment. We try to test every idea to see if it yields the improvement that is expected. If not, we take a step back, ask why, and try again.


To successfully remove DOWNTIME from an organization, there must be high levels of engagement and urgency. These should never produce a sense of uncertainty, anxiety or fear. They should result in the absence of complacency and an environment of continuous improvement.


An organization that is focused on the customer will never be complacent. To provide more value where you are, make the problems and opportunities around you known. If an organization is committed to LEAN, there will be people ready to listen and lead change.


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About Dan Cotton

Website: https://www.mckenneys.com

Email Address: dan.cotton@mckenneys.com

Dan Cotton is the manager of Virtual Construction at McKenney's and is responsible for our BIM and CAD modeling teams. He has been a member of the LEAN Construction Institute (LCI) since 2011 and is currently a core team member of the LCI’s Georgia Community of Practice. Dan holds a Six Sigma Green Belt certification from Georgia Tech and led the LEAN efforts at McKenney's from 2010 through 2013. Prior to his involvement in Virtual Construction and LEAN, Dan was a project manager in the McKenney's New Construction division for six years.

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