The Culture of Winning — Baseball and Lean

1 – The Culture of Winning

This is a fantastic interview with the General Manager of the Atlanta Braves, John Schuerholz (requires WSJ subscription). Even if you're not a baseball fan, it's noteworthy that the Braves have won their division for FOURTEEN consecutive years. That's unheard of, especially in an era when players change teams all the time. The Braves have succeeded, in part, because of having a system and creating a “culture of success.”

Isn't that needed in a factory too? A factory with negative, self-defeating, “we can't do it” attitudes will lose the manufacturing equivalent of 120 games.

Schuerholz lists these five tips for transforming a culture, they certainly seem to apply along with any lean transformation:

1) Gather everyone, communicate the plan, and preach it daily.
2) Constantly remind them it works
3) Don't be afraid to get rid of the people who don't buy in.
4) Make the lowest-level employees feel as important to success as the top-level executives.
5) Show trust in everyone to do their jobs well.

Great stuff!!! Now go make it happen in your organization.


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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

1 Comment
  1. […] can work in more industries than just traditional manufacturing, including healthcare AND sports. That gave me the confidence to continue to dig more into how sports can better utilize quality, […]

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