Tag: Military

“Practicing Lean” Excerpt – Lessons from Japan

“Practicing Lean” Excerpt – Lessons from Japan

I’ve recently updated the eBook Practicing Lean to include a new ninth chapter, submitted by Samuel Selay. Other new chapters are by David Haigh, from Canada, and Joe Swartz (my Healthcare Kaizen co-author) .

By February 12, 2016 1 Comments Read More →
Podcast #235 – Sam MacPherson, The Green Beret Way to the Toyota Way & Lean Leadership

Podcast #235 – Sam MacPherson, The Green Beret Way to the Toyota Way & Lean Leadership

Today's guest is Sam MacPherson (@LeanLeaderWay), the co-founder of the Lean Leadership Academy and the founder of The Summit on Lean Leadership, a partnership with Lean Frontiers...

By December 7, 2015 2 Comments Read More →
Fear of speaking up is a broader problem, not just in military medicine

Fear of speaking up is a broader problem, not just in military medicine

Announcement: Dr. Greg Jacobson and I are doing a new webinar for KaiNexus on “More Leadership Behaviors That Create a Culture of Continuous Improvement‘” on January 27. It’s free… learn more and register here.

By January 13, 2015 5 Comments Read More →
Lessons from the  Football Coaching and Leadership Styles of the Oregon Ducks and Ohio State Buckeyes

Lessons from the Football Coaching and Leadership Styles of the Oregon Ducks and Ohio State Buckeyes

Note: Today is the fifth anniversary of the Haiti earthquake. Russell Maroni’s journal from his volunteer work there, including some Lean concepts he employed, is still available. You can download a free PDF and I hope you’ll consider making a charitable contribution.

By January 12, 2015 1 Comments Read More →
#Ebola – The Glaring Gap Between Staff Education and Proper, Effective Training

#Ebola – The Glaring Gap Between Staff Education and Proper, Effective Training

I saw this headline the other day: “U.S. Soldiers Get Just Four Hours of Ebola Training

The phrase “just four hours” implies that it wasn’t enough. How do we know? Maybe four hours of training, done properly, is all that’s needed.

By October 18, 2014 14 Comments Read More →
The Real #VAscandal is the Long Waiting Times & Bad Management, Not Gaming by Bad Apples

The Real #VAscandal is the Long Waiting Times & Bad Management, Not Gaming by Bad Apples

Look at the System, Not the Individuals

I’ve been wanting to blog about the “VA Scandal,” but have avoided it because

  1. it is somewhat politicized (as tends to happen),
  2. the allegations and story are moving quickly, and
  3. the whole thing just makes me sad, so I stop writing.

Building on Monday’s post… when the news first broke about scandals at the VA (the Veterans Health Administration), a lot of the focus was on “secret waiting lists” and individuals in Phoenix “gaming the system” (or fudging the numbers):

Memorial Day – A Reminder to Provide Better Care for Living Veterans

Memorial Day – A Reminder to Provide Better Care for Living Veterans

Today is Memorial Day, a U.S. holiday. It’s a day to honor those who have given their lives in military service.

Lately, the news has had many reminders about our need to provide better care to our living veterans through the overburdened Veterans Administration (VA) medical system.

What I’ve Been Reading Lately: Not Doing Kaizen, Engaged Sailors, Etc.

What I’ve Been Reading Lately: Not Doing Kaizen, Engaged Sailors, Etc.

Reading

Every once in a while, I have too many browser windows open and it slows my computer down. That’s when I dump a bunch of links in a post that clears out the Lean Blog backlog.

Dan Markovitz had a thought provoking post called “How not to build a kaizen culture in three easy steps,” where he sadly describes what his wife is facing with with what they call “kaizen” in her hospital. It sounds more L.A.M.E. than Lean. He also shares examples of places that are doing better.

By February 28, 2014 2 Comments Read More →
We STILL Need to Reduce Waiting Times for Veterans

We STILL Need to Reduce Waiting Times for Veterans

IMG_4993

Today is Veterans Day in the U.S. and it’s also Remembrance Day in Canada, the UK, and the Commonwealth countries. The poppy  pin is worn as a symbol of Remembrance Day (as I wore, at left, last week while in Scotland and England on vacation).

Thanks and an enormous debt of gratitude are owed to those who have given their lives in military service.

Sadly, we still have many problems in getting timely veterans’ health benefits to retired and living U.S. servicemen and servicewomen, as I’ve often highlighted here on this day. The best opportunities, I think, for the use of Lean methods in government is to reduce the time spent waiting for access to services that members of our armed forces have earned.

By November 11, 2013 2 Comments Read More →
Podcast #134 – The Sergeant Thomas Joseph Sullivan Center

Podcast #134 – The Sergeant Thomas Joseph Sullivan Center

MP3 File (run time 31:45)

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 6.21.47 PMEpisode #134 is a different topic than usual. Instead of strictly talking Lean, today’s discussion is about broader issues of healthcare quality and our United States military. Joining me are Daniel Sullivan, President and General Manager of the The Sergeant Thomas Joseph Sullivan Center (SSC), a non-profit organization that  is dedicated to improving health outcomes for current and former military personnel, especially those who are suffering from emerging, complicated, or currently unexplained post deployment  health concerns.  Named in honor of a fallen marine,  the Sgt. Sullivan Center promotes the health security of America’s troops and the principle that none should be left behind. Also joining us is Gregory Jacobson, MD, a college friend of Daniel’s and the co-founder and CEO of KaiNexus, also a board member of the Center.

The Sergeant Sullivan Center is named for Daniel’s brother,  Sergeant Thomas Joseph  Sullivan, a veteran of the Iraq war, who died suddenly in his northern Virginia home at age 30, four years after returning from deployment. With his medical problems originating during his deployment in Iraq and continuing in the years following his return home, Sgt. Sullivan suffered a progression of unexplained health complications that included chronic pain, swelling, cardiovascular disease, and severe inflammation. His autopsy revealed life threatening problems that medical tests had not detected.

Today would have been St. Sullivan’s 32nd birthday, so I am sharing his story here.

For a link to this episode, refer people to  www.leanblog.org/134.

More About the  Sergeant Sullivan Center:

By December 22, 2011 0 Comments Read More →
Problems like This Should be the Focus of “Lean Government”

Problems like This Should be the Focus of “Lean Government”

www.Army.milThe “Strong America Now” initiative has proposed there are opportunities to save $500 BILLION  a year from our U.S. federal government budget by using Lean and Six Sigma methods (I interviewed Mike George, the founder of the campaign here in a podcast). As an outsider, I’d believe that the OPPORTUNITY is there for such savings, but is it really POSSIBLE, with the government culture of “use it or lose it” budgets and internal politics?

That’s one reason I don’t get super jazzed up when it seems the “Lean Six Sigma for Government” movement seems to be focused so much on cost reduction. I understand the need for cost reduction, trust me, but can a Lean focus on time and quality lead to cost reduction and other important results?

By October 4, 2011 6 Comments Read More →
Memorial Day Thanks & Links to Lean in the Military

Memorial Day Thanks & Links to Lean in the Military

Memorial Day Free Download Poster, Graves at Arlington National Cemetery, American Flag, Veterans Day HolidayI know about 35% of you are reading from outside of the United States, but it is a national holiday here today, Memorial Day. It is a day to remember those who gave their lives in service to their country and for the cause of freedom around the world.

For those of you who are interested, I’ll share a few links to Lean and Six Sigma efforts in the United States military:

How “Waste” is Like Osama Bin Laden

How “Waste” is Like Osama Bin Laden

San Diego Union-Tribune Front Page,  05.02.11

A few days ago, as I was glued to the coverage of Osama Bin Laden’s death and the implications around the world, I was also writing a draft of an article about “waste” and Lean healthcare for a magazine… thoughts got somewhat intertwined and I had a few ideas about how the hunt for Bin Laden was like our hunt for waste in the workplace.

Three main points:

  • Waste is often hiding in plain sight
  • Waste often seems painfully obvious once it has been pointed out
  • Leaders often deny that they knew the waste was there the whole time
Best “Back of a Business Card” Ever, Seen at #HIMSS

Best “Back of a Business Card” Ever, Seen at #HIMSS

I was at the annual HIMSS  Conference yesterday, as a guest of the software company FormFast, giving short 10-minute talks about Lean Healthcare to audiences at their booth. It’s fair to say that it’s 10x harder to give a succinct 10-minute Lean intro talk than it is to give a 60-minute overview. There’s a lot you’d like to cover, but time constraints force you to keep it simple, especially for IT folks who are generally very new to Lean.

I met a lot of interesting people though. Those most knowledgable about Lean came from the military – Air Force, Army, or D.O.D. medicine. That was a clear trend. And one of them gave me the best business card ever.

By February 22, 2011 11 Comments Read More →
Some "Like Lean" Thoughts from CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta

Some "Like Lean" Thoughts from CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta

CNN Programs – Anchors/Reporters – Sanjay Gupta

I had a very full, interesting week – giving a well-received talk about Lean Healthcare at the Ontario Hospital Association convention, spending a day with a hospital east of Toronto, and hearing some thought provoking speakers in Toronto and back in Cambridge.

By November 20, 2009 3 Comments Read More →

A Nearly Apocalyptic Workaround?

Inside the Apocalyptic Soviet Doomsday Machine:

There was a fascinating article in a recent WIRED Magazine about Cold War nuclear response and defense systems. This one sidebar struck me as a classic workaround, if the story can be believed.

By November 8, 2009 4 Comments Read More →

Error Proofing Against Pirates

Like many, I closely followed the recent pirate seizure of the Maersk ship with the American crew and was happy when the captain was free by the U.S. Navy. I wondered how a tiny boat with four pirates could board and overtake a huge ocean container ship.

These Wounded Soldiers Need Lean To Get Their Benefits?

These Wounded Soldiers Need Lean To Get Their Benefits?

Soldiers risk ruin while awaiting benefit checks

I’ve read about this problem before… and at the risk of this turning too political, I’m going to address the issue. Wounded U.S. soldiers are reportedly waiting too long to get the benefits to which they’re entitled. In the case of one soldier: