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Podcast #184 – John Toussaint, MD on CEO Challenges & Enduring Excellence

by Mark Graban on August 13, 2013 · 7 comments

MP3 File (run time 32:00)

toussaint Podcast #184   John Toussaint, MD on CEO Challenges & Enduring Excellence leanIt’s great to have Dr. John Toussaint back for episode #184 of the podcast (see links to previous episodes below). He is, of course, CEO of the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value and the author of two Shingo Award-winning books, On the Mend: Revolutionizing Healthcare to Save Lives and Transform the Industry Podcast #184   John Toussaint, MD on CEO Challenges & Enduring Excellence lean
and Potent Medicine: The Collaborative Cure for Healthcare Podcast #184   John Toussaint, MD on CEO Challenges & Enduring Excellence lean.

In this podcast, we start by hearing John’s thoughts on some of the top issues that healthcare CEOs are facing today, such as changes in payment structures and Accountable Care Organizations. We also talk about the “Enduring Excellence” program that Paul O’Neill and John are leading to teach healthcare senior leaders about Lean culture change and their important role.

This podcast was produced in conjunction with the  Healthcare Value Network  as a continuation of their  previous podcast series.

For a link to this episode, refer people to  www.leanblog.org/184.

Past episodes with Dr. Toussaint:

Here is a video where “Enduring Excellence” participants share their reflections:

For earlier episodes, visit the  main Podcast page, which includes information on how to  subscribe via RSS  or  via Apple iTunes.  

You can use the podcast player (use the VCR-type controls) at the top of the post to listen to a streaming version of the podcast (or click here for the streaming audio and RSS subscription). The streaming link is faster for one-time listening (hardly any delay to start listening). Or you can use the download link to put it on your iPod or other MP3 player.

A new way to listen to free streaming episodes of the podcast:  Download the free Stitcher app and use promo code LEANBLOG for a chance to win $100.

If you have feedback on the podcast, or any questions for me or my guests, you can email me at leanpodcast@gmail.com or you can call and leave a voicemail by calling the “Lean Line” at (817) 776-LEAN (817-776-5326) or contact me via Skype id “mgraban”. Please give your location and your first name. Any comments (email or voicemail) might be used in follow ups to the podcast.

Mark Graban 2011 Smaller Podcast #184   John Toussaint, MD on CEO Challenges & Enduring Excellence leanAbout LeanBlog.org: Mark Graban is a consultant, author, and speaker in the “lean healthcare” methodology. Mark is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as the new Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. Mark is also the VP of Innovation and Improvement Services for KaiNexus.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Phil Chadbourn August 13, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Great podcast!


2 Anonymous August 14, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Dr. Toussaint talked about the handful of Lean skills that a CEO has to have. It would be fun to know what that handful consists of.


3 Mike Stoecklein August 18, 2013 at 7:34 am

A useful article that will provide you with some of this information can be found here:

And this executive summary of another article describes how you can obtain a copy of another full article:


4 Anonymous August 19, 2013 at 11:06 am

Thanks Mike for sharing. I’m looking forward to Dr. Toussaint’s follow-up. My own list is:

Provide direction and alignment
Get rid of the overburden
Provide stability
Demonstrate structured problem solving
Develop employees through structured coaching
Enable teamwork at all levels
Personal assessment
Continuous learning
Organizational communication
Change leadership

Wow, that’s all! There are some personal behaviors that Dr. Toussaint has talked about that need to be in place before skills.


5 Mark Graban
August 19, 2013 at 11:48 am

Great list. My post today is about our webinar last week about 25 leadership behaviors that create a culture of continuous improvement and many (all?) should be practiced by CEOs as well.
Mark Graban recently posted..ALWAYS Check Two Identifiers – In a Hospital or a CasinoMy Profile


6 Mark Graban
August 22, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Here is John’s blog post about CEO skills:

CEO standard work for successful lean implementation
Mark Graban recently posted..What I’m Reading: “Little Bets”My Profile


7 John Gallagher August 18, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Today, I was listening intently to Dr Toussaint’s interview and was encouraged when he mentioned Atrius, yet discouraged to hear him say that Atrius had “gotten a little worse” in their ACO performance even though they are doing good things in Lean. A couple points need clarified:

>> 1) They are not “worse” – Please see link to the article where Dr Lindsey explains this

>> 2) It is also important to note that not all groups of Atrius have adopted Lean as their transformational approach. Harvard Vanguard was the Pioneer of Atrius’ Lean work and they represent about 90% of Atrius’ Lean efforts. In actuality, THEIR ACO results were a reduction in cost of this population of 4.5%. This number is comparable to John’s communication of Thedacare results, but even more impressive given that Harvard Vanguard is a multi-specialty group practice faced with negotiating with hospitals on lengths of stay, admits, and re-admits .

>> 3) Atrius quality results for this year were reported to them by CMS as “spectacular” when compared to other Pioneer participants.

Thanks for allowing me to share.
John Gallagher recently posted..15 THINGS THAT KEEP ME FROM MY GOALS AND HOW TO OVERCOME THEMMy Profile


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