Podcast #312 – Jeff Hunter on “Patient-Centered Strategy”

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Joining me today for Episode #312 of the podcast is Jeff Hunter, author of the excellent book Patient-Centered Strategy: A Learning System for Better Care.

Jeff was with ThedaCare in Wisconsin, where he was Senior Vice President, Strategy and Marketing for the health system. After retiring from ThedaCare, he has been a faculty member for Catalysis and has started his own consulting firm, Jeff Hunter Strategy. Read his full bio.

In today's podcast, we discuss a number of topics, including how a good strategy is a necessary input for a “strategy deployment” management process, some of the problems with traditional approaches to strategic planning, and why an iterative PDSA approach works better than static plans.

Streaming Player:


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For a link to this episode, refer people to www.leanblog.org/312.

For earlier episodes of my podcast, visit the main Podcast page, which includes information on how to subscribe via RSS, through Android appsor via Apple Podcasts.  You can also subscribe and listen via Stitcher.

Topics and notes for this episode:

  • Jeff's website
  • Please introduce yourself… how did you get introduced to Lean in your role at ThedaCare?
    • A Rapid Improvement Event
  • Tell us about your book and the intended audience… how it came to be?
  • Many healthcare organizations are embracing Strategy Deployment as part of Lean management… but before we get into that, what's strategy?
    • What does it mean to define winning?
    • How do I know if we're winning?
    • Does winning mean someone else loses?
  • What are some of the problems with the traditional strategy planning process? What would you recommend as a better way
    • Lack of differentiation (not creating unique value)
    • Lack of focus
    • Lack of catchball
    • Lack of iteration
    • Old mental models?
  • The “strategic planning value stream”
  • Why should PDSA be a foundational skill in the strategy development and execution process? Why is a “learning system” important?
    • Bottom-up PDSA…
  • What's the importance of testing assumptions and “what must be true” with strategy (or anything else)?
  • “I had to change my behaviors.”
    • Going from cheerleading for Lean to changing… questioning how things are done
  • How does Lean or Operational Excellence fit into all of this? Can O.E. be a strategy or is it part of an overall strategic management system?
  • Connections to the Build / Measure / Learn loops of Lean Startup methods?
  • Once you have a strategy, what are some lessons learned about how to deploy it most effectively?
  • Podcast with Matt May
  • Where / how can people buy the book?


Thanks for listening!

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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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