By January 16, 2007 3 Comments Read More →

Great Posts from Quint Studer

Quint Studer is a former hospital CEO who I’ve mentioned a lot here. He has an outstanding blog now. In his issues, he doesn’t talk about “lean” per se, but it absolutely applies, whether you are in healthcare or any organization, I think.

Financial Transparency: There’s Nothing to Hide

His post talks about financial pressures in healthcare, but it’s more about the leadership imperative to be open with your employees about the company’s financial situation, so employees can be aware and can be motivated to help fix things. He encourages this as a way of breaking down the “us/they” barrier and getting everyone working together. If you’re working on lean, you have to be open with employees about “why” we’re doing lean, what the financial pressures are, etc.

Tips for Communicating with Senior Leaders: How to Get Your Message Heard

Again, he’s not calling out lean, but this applies to those of us working to get our senior leadership to understand what lean is about.

When a CEO or vice president asks you—as a leader in the organization—that simple question, “What is going well?”, how do you respond? Before I was a vice president, I used to offer a lot of detail about the steps I was taking and the tools I was using to get results. I wanted leaders to understand I was committed to achieving our goals and I thought this approach helped.

Quint explains why you have to talk more about what you are accomplishing rather than talking about what you are doing.

His tips:

  1. Open with results and outcomes. Make sure you can quantify what you achieved. Good effort is no excuse for lack of results.
  2. Be prepared to explain more. Once a listener has been provided the results, be ready to outline “the how” if asked. This helps the listener know the key steps for success. Great organizations always look for ways to replicate strong results in other departments or take them system wide.
  3. Show calculations if requested. For example, by lowering the left without being treated from 3% to 1%, 554 patients received care that otherwise would not. With an average collection of $276 (554 x $276 = $152,904) an additional revenue of $152, 904 is generated. (Be careful not to overstate results, however, as you risk your credibility.)

My thoughts: when talking to execs, don’t talk first about the lean tools that you used. Talk about how you reduced cycle time, improved delivery response, improved quality, improved safety, reduced cost…. focus on the results and the “why” you’re doing lean.

Question: Have any manufacturing folks read his blog or articles? Tell me, do you find it relevant?


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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 eBook 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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3 Comments on "Great Posts from Quint Studer"

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I just finished reading Quint Studer’s book, “Hardwiring Excellence”. We are manufacturing and I thought the material was very adaptable for us. The only hard part about using his material is that healthcare is a job that people usually pick specifically because it is worthwhile and meaningful to them. It is a little harder to find something meaningful about producing widgets.Overall, though, his book was really excellent, and I am going to use it in our supervisor’s leadership training class. Again – it was a great book.

  2. Paul Grizzell says:

    I work for Studer Group, but before Studer Group I worked for organizations in a variety of industries, including manufacturing. I helped lead Baldrige, Six Sigma and Lean efforts.

    I agree with the comment that it’s harder to find meaningful work on the surface, but effective leaders are able to connect to purpose based on the benefit to the customer derived from the product -whatever it may be.

    It’s like the story of two brickmakers who are asked what they’re doing. One replies, “I’m making bricks,” while the other says “I’m helping build a cathedral.”

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