“You can’t expect a microwave pope”


In all of the news of the newly announced Pope Francis, this line from a news article made me chuckle… after three votes did not result in the election of a Pope:

“You can't expect a microwave pope. It's a process.”

These were not the words of a Church spokesperson, but, rather, some 34-year old American in St. Peter's Square. The words reminded me of something  W. Edwards Deming used to say.

Dr. Deming famously said, “There is no instant pudding,” in regards to organizational transformation. There are no silver bullets or magic fixes to our business problems, as much as executives might look for them.

Electing a pope took five votes. Creating a Lean culture or a culture of continuous improvement takes much longer.

Habemus ieiunium clibano?? That's Latin for “we have a fast oven.”


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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.

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