Mark's note: Today's post is by Cristal Totterman, a pharmacist and Lean leader I have known for a couple of years now. She's written a post that made me think about and reflect on the never-ending journey of improvement, both as individuals and organizations.
In today's post, I write about how Kaizen starts with you. I share some examples of "personal Kaizen," including the way I've streamlined my call scheduling process, for my benefit and for others.
Are there parallels between medicine and organizations when we look at the tension between heroism and the sometimes boring work of preventing problems and improving things? I comment on an article by Dr. Atul Gawande…
You might remember the hubbub (a kerfuffle?) over the NEJM opinion piece written by Dr. Jerome Groopman and Dr. Pamela Hartzband. See my first post about their article. There are more links at the bottom of this post
After the previous CEO of JC Penney, Ron Johnson, was fired (see my post “Lack of PDSA made JCP CEO SOL?“), it seems that new CEO Marvin Ellison might be taking a different approach.
See this article from FORTUNE: “The CEO Who’s Reinventing J.C. Penney.”
Each Saturday, I get an email newsletter from the UK-based site "Nursing Times." Last week, this article, caught my eye: "Workplace principles revealed for NHS staff in Wales." A free registration might be required to read it or other articles, but it's worth it.
Part 1 covered the left hand half of the model, with Organizational Alignment and Visual Management being the key themes.
I wrote a blog post about this for the KaiNexus blog, previewing the webinar and summarizing the steps of the PPS method:
I love the show “Silicon Valley” and I just “binge watched” all ten episodes of Season 2 while traveling home from vacation. A few scenes from two episodes made me think about continuous improvement (yeah, even while on vacation).
Thanks to my friends in the Michigan Quality System group, the internal Lean group at the University of Michigan Health System.
When I teach about Kaizen and continuous improvement, I try to use scenarios and cases to help people think through how they would respond to, coach, and collaborate on employee ideas.
One key point is that leaders have to thank employees for pointing out problems or opportunities for improvement. They need to do so even if they think the idea or proposed solution isn’t ideal or might not work.
You might be considered “wonky” for enjoying the topics discussed here at LeanBlog.org… but that’s fine. This is a safe environment for being wonky about Lean and improvement.
From Vox.com, Sarah Kliff normally does a great job covering healthcare topics, including this latest piece:
In the Lean community, we talk about the need to encourage improvement and experimentation by not punishing failures.
I wanted to share a recent Kaizen improvement story that I heard from a hospital.
Great things can happen when we:
- Listen to our patients
- Take action to prevent similar problems
- Get departments working together to coordinate care
Imagine you’re a new mother and you’re recovering in a room after your postpartum care. You’ve been cared for and visited by a few different OB-GYNs from the medical group, each one of them a top-tier clinician in their field.
I recently wrote a blog post for KaiNexus titled “How Kaizen Software Helps Me Be A Better Coach.” I’ve done a lot of Kaizen coaching with organizations and one challenge is me keeping up with their progress as a remote coach. Without the KaiNexus software, people have to manually tally up the number of improvements or they share photos of their Kaizen boards.
It’s a simple question: what’s up with so many men wearing ties in healthcare? Are you / they wearing them because you like to, want to, or have to?
When I worked at a video game and computer software store in high school, I had to wear a shirt and tie. This was the era of the original Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Genesis, and Windows 3.0. I also sold the original Windows 286 and Windows 386 systems. I’m old. I’m not sure how wearing a tie helped us relate to our customers, but that was the professional image the store wanted to convey, I guess. I didn’t find it comfortable, but we all put up with it.
One question I was asked to ask during my Japan trip was to see if “Quality Circles” are still active in Japanese companies. I think the term was brought to the U.S. in the 1980s and 1990s, but generally wasn’t widely adopted for a number of reasons – probably due to management mindsets and organizational culture, not a lack of willingness on the part of American workers. At GM in 1995, people talked about failed attempts at forming QCs (and management mainly blamed the workers, sadly).
During my recent visit to Franciscan St. Francis Health System, some of the nurses proudly called themselves “Kaizen Queens” (and there was one self-described “Kaizen Princess”) although they also use the term “Kaizeneer” that Franciscan uses more broadly.