Podcast #314 – Skip Steward & Brandon Brown, on TWI & Kata in Healthcare


Today I have two guests joining me for Episode #314 of the podcast. They are Skip Steward, the Chief Improvement Officer at Baptist Memorial Health Care in Tennessee and Brandon Brown, the owner and “Master Kata Coach” of his firm, Continuous Coaching Commitment, LLC.

In this episode, we discuss their use of methods such as “Training Within Industry” and “Toyota Kata” in the important work of healthcare improvement. Skip and Brandon both have backgrounds in manufacturing, but they have been able to translate Lean skills and mindsets into healthcare. We'll also talk about their dynamic as consultant / client and how the roles of “coach” and “learner” are often very situational and how we can be both at different times.

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For a link to this episode, refer people to www.leanblog.org/314.

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 iTunes.  You can also subscribe and listen via Stitcher.

Topics and notes for this episode:

  • Introductions:
    • Skip: Can you please introduce yourself and your experience with Lean or other improvement methodologies?
      • Dr. Deming was an influence? Why is that lens important?
      • But patients aren't cars…
    • Brandon: Likewise, can you introduce yourself?
  • Skip – can you tell us about the Lean journey at Baptist?
    • How did you get started?
    • Where did you start and why?
    • What's your approach?
    • Why did Kata catch on?
  • Brandon – how and when were you brought in as a coach?
    • What is your role?
    • What have you been teaching about Toyota Kata?
      • Other Lean concepts?
      • Why and how is Toyota Kata “a people development process?”
      • Skip: Thoughts on the priority of people development at Baptist?
    • TWI and Kata are “a marriage made in heaven”
  • Why does a good coach have to be a good “learner” first?
  • How has Training Within Industry been helpful?
  • Any favorite stories or examples of improvement at Baptist?
  • Advice for other leaders in a similar situation?
  • Thanks to Skip for mentioning my book, Measures of Success, available now.


Check out their Baptist Management System channel on YouTube:

Here is a video demonstrating TWI training methods:

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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