A Purposeful Insight from INSIGHT™

By: Ken Snyder

In recent blogs I have shared information about the research track we now have at our European and Annual conferences. Our first research track was in Copenhagen a few months ago. It is our intent to shed light on the improvement process so that we can improve the improvement process.

One of the enlightening presentations in Copenhagen touched me profoundly. The presentation used data from the Shingo INSIGHT tool. What is INSIGHT? INSIGHT is a self-assessment tool that measures behaviors observed in an organization against ideal behaviors. Each individual who takes the survey answers questions anonymously. We have been working on INSIGHT for a few years now, but we finally finished beta-testing a few months ago. During the beta test period, we invited all Prize applicants and a few other organizations to participate.

Using INSIGHT data, the scholar, Prof. Troy Mumford of Colorado State University, analyzed the key factors that drive employee engagement. His main finding is that, far and away, the biggest factor that drives employee engagement is a clear sense of purpose that is understood by, and meaningful to, the employees.

This insight (yes, pun intended) informs us that many of our improvement efforts are less effective until we can determine and articulate a meaningful purpose that all leaders, managers, and associates can rally around. The relevant Shingo Guiding Principle is “Create Constancy of Purpose.” We, as leaders, should prioritize this guiding principle.

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