2018 Lean Healthcare Draft – Mock Draft Projections and Exclusive Fake Preview


Tonight is the start of the NFL Draft, which almost gets as much coverage nowadays as a Presidential election.

Can you imagine if CNBC and other TV channels spent as much time focusing on which Lean Healthcare prospects would be “drafted” from our leading universities and medical schools? Where is the top transformational talent going to be found? Which organizations will add strength and skills to their team and which will just end up screwing up their chemistry?

The 2018 Lean Healthcare Talent Draft is being held in a sub-basement conference room at AT&T Stadium. Here is our exclusive and official Lean Blog mock draft, featuring picks from our Lean Healthcare draft expert, Mel Kaizen, Jr., pictured below:

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Because all Lean healthcare organizations have winning records, the draft selection order is a random drawing of all Healthcare Value Network members.

What makes a “Lean draft?” Beyond the obvious Lean talent, draft picks are made and announced in single piece flow, of course.

Tune in to CNBC and ESPN5S (online) for full draft coverage Thursday evening, with Mel Kaizen, Jr., Juan Peeceflow, and Dr. Les Muda providing analysis, and you can see how accurate our picks are. It's always a crap shoot trying to project the Lean Healthcare draft, but the Lean Healthcare public has an almost insatiable hunger for news about the draft, including the 14 different projections and mock drafts that have been published here over the past three months… so…

Here are the projections for the first 10 picks of Round 1, from The Worldwide Leader in Lean Coverage:

#1 Cleveland Clinic


Our experts were really shocked when Cleveland Clinic announced that they had traded up to get the consensus #1 pick, Meredith Granville, a 3rd-year resident from the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. Granville is quick off the ball and is the Geffen School's all-time leader in A3s completed, with 57. Granville is fast, but is willing to “go slow to go fast” and she's known for her ability to avoid jumping to solutions while being one of the best at leaping over barriers and obstacles to change.

Granville jumped to the top of this very talented class with her speed and effectiveness at the Root Cause Analysis section of the Lean Healthcare Combine, deploying “the 5 Whys” with combine-record speed in digging to proper root cause for optimal patient results with no errors. She also surprised scouts at the combine when she chose to engage everybody in the bench press instead of trying to lift it all herself. That's true leadership and definitely worthy of the #1 selection. She will be a phenomenal Improvement leader for a very long time.

Avoiding obstacles is key at the Lean Healthcare Draft Combine:

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#2 Spectrum Health System

This Michigan-based health system is staying close to home, selecting Ken Bahn, one of the top Industrial Engineering graduate students from the University of Michigan. Bahn surprised head coach Mike Rother by turning pro after just three years (well, he did graduate). Spectrum Health is going with the draft strategy of filling a need, rather than taking the consensus “best available talent” left on the Big Heijunka Draft Board, who will fall to #3.

Bahn has a lot of experience with their Kata-driven system, which means he should step in as a starter on Day 1. The University of Michigan, while surprised with his early entry into the draft, will have to backfill the loss of Bahn, but their use of Kanban with the admissions office will keep the talent cupboard stocked. Bahn might as well be a suggestion box, as he's a lock to be the #2 pick… or maybe Cleveland Clinic will surprise us and take him with the first overall pick?

#3 Duke Health

While many expected Spectrum to draft the highly regarded all-around talent Dee Mayock from the Ohio State MBOE Program at the #2 spot, they had concerns about the fit into their organizational culture. So Mayock, an experienced pediatric surgeon who took an interest in Lean and Six Sigma, is a steal at #3 as Duke Health picks up a top prospect without having to trade up.

Dr. Mayock is a dual threat, getting top marks in Multiple Regression Analysis and Change Management drills at the Lean Healthcare Draft Combine, which was held in Appleton this past March. It's rare to find such a mix of hard analytical skills, soft skills, and speed in the 40. He's poetry in motion, as there's absolutely no wasted motion in his efforts to reduce wasted motion in his work. He definitely fills a need and can step in right now.

#4 UCSF Health

Many top Lean Healthcare draft experts project Poe Kuhyoke to be a sure-fire AME Lean Hall of Famer by the time his career is done. He has once-in-a-generation catchball talent, and he will immediately be among the best as soon as he hits the Lean Healthcare floor. 

The 5′ 9″ MHA student from Trinity University was a prep Lean phenomenon who would normally go higher in the draft, but off the field concerns and a frustrating tendency to commit unforced errors during Rapid Improvement Events led to his draft stock falling. Kuhyoke could go down in history as one of the best steals in the draft… or one of the biggest busts.

#5 Georgetown (KY) Regional Medical Center

Georgetown will stun the Lean Healthcare draft by choosing a homegrown talent Rebecca Gavin out of Georgetown Ohno High School. It's rare for a top Lean program to draft a high school Lean player, but Gavin impressed with her amazing ability to map the messiest of Value Streams while ranking 1st in the ever important “Conservation of Sticky Notes” drill at the Combine. Gavin got an early start with Lean, as her parents are former Toyota group leaders, when she put tape outlines around her toys (after reading Baby's First Lean Book undoubtedly).

Gavin is turning down scholarship offers from Northwestern, Arizona State University, and McGill University to turn pro. It's always risky choosing a high school phenom, but GRMC and its fans are confident Gavin is the right choice for the long term. GRMC has an extensive network of small-town medical offices throughout Kentucky where Gavin can cut her teeth at the lower levels before she's ready for the big show.

#6 Fairview Health


Fairview Health saw they could get their top choice at #6, so they traded down to select Rae Ducewaist, a highly respected internal medicine specialist who trained under Dr. Jack Billi, Dr. John Toussaint, and Dr. Gary Kaplan, completing three fellowships after graduating from Baylor College of Medicine.

“The fact she loved Lean enough to continue racking up student debt proved her dedication to Lean,” said Fairview CEO James Hereford in an interview last month with ESPN5S.

“At 6′ 1″, she's also very tall and has the raw physical ability to place 5S labels on top shelves without a ladder… but she also has the experience and wisdom to know that reaching so high is bad ergonomically, so she really is the complete package,” said ESPN5S draft analyst Juan Peeceflow.

Dr. Ducewaist also impressed scouts with her ability to make nurses tear up in telling a story about improving patient care while making CFOs swoon with her ROI analysis of the same project.

#7 Cleveland Browns

Somehow, the Browns ended up with not just the #1 and the #4 picks in the NFL Draft, but also the 7th pick in the Lean Healthcare Draft. All of the top Lean Healthcare prospects sent loud signals that they would sit out a season (or would demand a trade) if chosen by the Browns, which does make sense since they are a football team, after all.

Still, we project they will draft Riika Laaksonen, a top-ranked Finnish project management specialist who can hopefully make the transition to professional Lean Healthcare (and actually has no inkling about the historical performance of the Cleveland Browns). She's considered a (DMAIC) project by some, but has high upside and a fast problem-solving motor whose PDSA cycle never stops spinning.

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#8 Hospital for Sick Children

Toronto's leading pediatric specialists will look to the Country of Lean Thinkers for their choice, drafting Kai Mishibai from the Japanese Lean Healthcare League. Matsumoto, who studied The Harada Method in the same cohort as Major League Baseball phenom Shohei Otani, is also a dual threat — in Lean AND Six Sigma. ROI expectations will be high for Mishibai after Sick Kids has to pay a $20 million transfer fee to Nippon Ham Hospital in Japan, where she has played for the last three seasons.

There's a lot of upside in Mishibai's raw Kaizen ability, yet skeptics question her Yellow Belt as a sign that she's not as dedicated to Six Sigma as she is to Lean. Only time will tell if Mishibai is a sleeper, like Minako Inoue in the 2007 draft or a bust, like Tsubasa Kobayashi, the #2 overall pick in 2013 who never completed a single A3 at the major league Lean Healthcare level.

#9 Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital

There's always a lot of privacy in the Zuckerberg front office, making it hard to project who ZSFGH will draft this year. Our experts and analysts (with the help of Russian hackers) project they will select Anatoly Pasternak from Moscow Medical University here in the first round. Even though he has no Lean or management experience, he's expected to become the leader of their entire Lean initiative, a gutsy move. RLT, Russian Lean Television, reports that Dr. Pasternak has served as the official physician for the last three Russian presidents and is well liked in the Kremlin, so some count those as qualifications. Dr. Pasternak is said to be a stabilizing force in the Lean Healthcare locker room and definitely does not have any incriminating video of the ZSFGH CEO.

A cloud hangs over Dr. Pasternak as, when announced his intentions to enter the draft, many thought he only wanted the publicity and didn't really want the Lean Healthcare job. So, this pick would be a bit of a surprise to many experts. “There's no way that they'd ever make such a bad choice, given the proven alternative that's available and waiting to be selected,” said analyst Dr. Les Muda on ESPN5S last week. 

#10 Tucson Medical Center

The steal of Round 1 will come when TMC drafts Hai Joonka from Northern Arizona University. Garry, a double major in Human Factors and Healthcare Economics impresses on the shopfloor and in the boardroom. She's viewed as one of the more polished prospects, having logged more miles in the “gemba” than any prospect in this draft's history. She has a high Lean IQ paired with an EQ that's off the charts, with an explosive first step in the problem-solving process.

The pressure is on, however, for TMC leaders to help Joonka feel at home in their system after their last four high-profile draft picks left TMC for jobs in manufacturing or state government. Joonka has all of the intangibles and is not just a player, she's also like having another coach on the field  

Who are your sleeper picks for this year's Lean Healthcare draft? Who would you select with the top pick?

Thanks to Chad Walters for the assist with this piece. A true team player, Walters continues to excel on the Lean Manufacturing circuit. 

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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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