OK, so it's not the kind of scientific research that involves lab coats and microscopes, but I'm doing some research that I'd like your help with.
I'm looking to do some research and some interviews for writing projects related to two different topics.
I've been working with Mike Stoecklein from the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value to write an e-book that looks at topics that are based on ideas from W. Edwards Deming and, more recently, from Don Wheeler (author of Understanding Variation). Broad themes include knowing how to recognize and manage variation and the use of Statistical Process Control methods to make better decisions from data (something I've written about here on this blog) and how to manage variation when you don't have data.
Check out our book's very early landing page on LeanPub.com. The title is quirky, we realize that. The subtitle isn't set yet. More on the story behind the title some other time.
Update — this book became Measures of Success.
Do you have stories that others can learn from?
- Situations where data was displayed or used “without context” as Wheeler described
- Times when two-data point comparisons (current versus target, current versus last month, current versus last year) where used in a way that was dysfunctional
- Stories about how managers or teams were wasting time or annoying people “chasing noise in the system” or data?
Or do you have positive stories about how you've used ideas from Wheeler's book (or Deming's ideas on understanding and managing variation) to improve how a team or system is managed? Please contact me if you do and if you're willing to be interviewed by me or Mike (he's already interviewed a number of people for a research paper he's written on this theme).
Hear Mark read this post (and subscribe to the “Lean Blog Audio” series):
Reducing Blame in Organizations
Another key theme from Dr. Deming is the idea of reducing fear and not blaming individuals for system problems.
I'm thinking about a separate writing project that would not just explore the idea that “naming, blaming, and shaming” is harmful and counterproductive to good performance… it would also explore what organizations are practically doing to rely less on blame.
These approaches include:
- Lean Startup & Lean IT
- Just Culture
- Studer Group methodologies
- Systems thinking
- Crew Resource Management
If you're in healthcare (or other industries or settings) and your organization has specifically worked to reduce blame (replacing it with other managerial approaches), I would love to interview you and/or your senior leaders.
Don't forget our on-site Kaizen learning experience at Franciscan St. Francis Health on April 22-23. We've extended “early bird” pricing until this Friday March 20.
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Check out my latest book, The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation: