The Dilbert strip from June 18 features a (new?) colleague of Dilbert’s… a guy named Jeff.
In the first panel, Jeff shows himself to be a Negative Nelly:
The practice of Kaizen requires a certain positivity. Instead of pointing out “here’s why that won’t work,” we need to focus more on asking “how do we make that work?”
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t question or challenge things… but when there’s a pattern of being that one guy who is against everything that everybody else is for, that becomes a problem. There’s a difference between:
- having reservations or concerns and figuring out how to get past them
- just being incurably negative
People get cynical over time in dysfunctional organizations… that’s understandable. It can be difficult to change the culture when an organization hasn’t been successful in the past. We face really serious challenges in healthcare that sometimes seem insurmountable.
We need to reduce infection rates by 90%. “That will never work.”
We’re going to use checklists consistently in the O.R. “That will never work.”
We need to adopt and adapt a management system that has its roots in another industry. “That will never work.”
We’re going to adopt a daily Lean management system and a new organizational culture. “That will never work.”
We need to more deeply and consistently engage our employees in improvement. “That will never work.”
It’s an easy habit to get into. The “that will never work” statement might have been correct most of the time in the past. Demonstrating a little bit of success might help people see what change is possible. That can help turn the tide to the Jeffs of the world saying “That might work.” But, sometimes old habits die hard…
Tweet of the Day:
Some Kaizen thinking and a clever improvement to share:
— Mark Graban (@MarkGraban) June 25, 2014
Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please scroll down to post a comment. Click here to receive posts via email.
Now Available – The updated, expanded, and revised 3rd Edition of Mark Graban’s Shingo Research Award-Winning Book Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety, and Employee Engagement. You can buy the book today, including signed copies from the author.