In a bad system, can any manager succeed?

BLACK, BLUE & BOOTED-Mooch out, Jauron in; why is Millen still here?

I grew up a Detroit Lions fan, as difficult as that could be (thankfully, we had Barry Sanders to enjoy). The Lions have fired yet another coach. Who would want to take this job next?

This reminds me of a previous company, where a General Manager of a division was let go, I mean moved on, after about 15 months in the job. An executive assistant, in a moment of total honesty, blurted out:

“Wow, the GM before him couldn’t make the numbers either.”

I don’t know if she was thinking “we had two bad GM’s in a row” but I was thiking “Wow, this must be a systemic problem, maybe the bar is set too high and these guys have unrealistic expectations. Maybe our products are overpriced and we’re too far behind technology wise? Maybe this is just a bad business where anyone but Jack Welch would struggle?”

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Either way, it’s something to think about…. do you blame a succession of managers, supervisors, engineers, operators or do you fix the systemic and cultural root causes?

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Go Cowboys!

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Mark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Mark is a consultant, author, and speaker in the "Lean healthcare" methodology. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent project is an book titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

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1 Comment

  1. Mark Graban says

    Maybe the thing the Lions and Merck both lack is Deming’s old “constancy of purpose.”

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