Operational Excellence Mixtape: September 28, 2018


Healthcare – Creating Value for Patient

Creating value for patients isn't a “project”.  Lean thinking isn't a program you “implement” in a hospital over a few years.  Virginia Mason has been improving value-based care for 17 years and it continues to deliver breakthroughs in safety, quality, and cost.

Bland hospital food is can be bad for patients. The New York Times looks at hospitals that are re-inventing their menus to create hospital food that you can get excited about.  I once worked at a hospital with a CEO that believed that high-quality and dignified food would benefit patients – he would be excited by this program.

Operational Excellence

There are many lean tools.  The X-Matrix might be one of the most enigmatic.  I've always found it to be an elegant way to condense a great deal of connected strategy data.  However, I have mostly failed in winning over senior leadership teams in adopting this tool as a part of a robust Strategy Deployment system.. It would appear I'm not alone.  Dan Markovitz describes an approach to visualizing strategy deployment (Hoshin Kanri) that may be more effective in achieving adoption

Systems drive behaviours.  But can you use a culture committee to help shift behaviours and support transformation?

There are few precise definitions of Lean. Agile suffers from many of the same ‘brand' issues as Lean does, as it's really hard to nail down what it is.

Seth Godin shares best practices on setting up a better conference.

Jon Miller describes his thoughts on how to manage continuous improvement without authority (is there a another way?).

Leading & Enabling Excellence

How much waste and anguish is created when staff and leadership lack clarity?  A lot – the root cause of workplace drama is often a lack of clarity.

Clarity, structure, and planning helps create better team dynamics according to this article from Stanford on how to lead more effective teams.

Coaching – Developing Self & Others

Improvement is a skill that needs to be practiced.  Dr. Bob Maurer describes the power of kaizen and standardization for creating an improvement habit.  Dr. Maurer is the author of a great book on developing improvement habits called The Spirit of Kaizen: Creating Lasting Excellence One Small Step at a Time and I heard him recently on an excellent episode of the Lean Blog Podcast with Mark Graban on Mastering Fear

Failing is a necessary result of the learning process.  Columbia University has developed a research centre to further studies on the value of failing.

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Ryan McCormack
Ryan is an operational excellence professional with over 18 years experience practicing continuous improvement in healthcare, insurance, food manufacturing, and aerospace. He is an avid student of the application of Lean principles in work and life to create measurably better value.


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