“You can’t expect a microwave pope”

amazing microwaveIn all of the news of the newly announced Pope Francis, this line from a news article made me chuckle… after three votes did not result in the election of a Pope:

You can’t expect a microwave pope. It’s a process.”

These were not the words of a Church spokesperson, but, rather, some 34-year old American in St. Peter’s Square. The words reminded me of something  W. Edwards Deming  used to say.

Dr. Deming famously said, “There is no instant pudding,” in regards to organizational transformation. There are no silver bullets or magic fixes to our business problems, as much as executives might look for them.

Electing a pope took five votes. Creating a Lean culture or a culture of continuous improvement takes much longer.

Habemus  ieiunium clibano??  That’s Latin for “we have a fast oven.”


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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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