Throwback Thursday: Presenting Lean to Senior Hospital Executives

throwback thursday lean blog

The concept of “Throwback Thursday” is very popular on social media platforms, especially when it comes to people sharing old pictures. Yes, that's me as an infant there. No, I probably wasn't criticizing a lack of “external setup” or a lack of “standardized work” in the way my parents changed my diapers.

Now that my blog is turning 10 years old, I plan to highlight (um, recycle?) some old content that newer readers might not have seen before.

August 2015 will also mark ten years since I shifted from manufacturing into healthcare, so I'll be reflecting on that.

I was going through some old materials that I created and used when I was part of the “ValuMetrix Services” consulting group within Johnson & Johnson that worked with hospitals, medical labs, and other healthcare organizations.

I found a PowerPoint deck that I used when one of our managing directors and I had a chance to give a presentation to a hospital senior leadership team. This was in early 2006, I believe.

Two things jumped out at me… Here is the first slide where we talked about “what is Lean?” at a very high level:

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 11.34.41 AM

It's not a 100% complete describe of what Lean is (why this was capitalized as LEAN, I'm not sure), but I think it's all accurate. We were trying to head off any misperceptions that executives might have, such as associating Lean with layoffs and cost-cutting or thinking that Lean is a bunch of tools that can get implemented quickly. It's a long-term journey.

I also used this slide, which I haven't used or thought about in a while, talking about ways that Lean might fail (I had a small blog based on the book How to Prevent Lean Failures, done with permission of the author).

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 11.49.56 AM

Which of these failure modes are the most prevalent, would you say? Keep in mind this was a book focused on manufacturing (And it's one I read when I still worked in industry).

I think these same risks or problems still exist in healthcare, don't you?

If you have any “Throwback Thursday” reflections of your own that you'd like to share as a guest blog post, please contact me.

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


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