Operational Excellence Mixtape: December 7, 2018


Healthcare – Creating Value for Patients

Healthcare is the world's largest cottage industry, as evidenced by the enormous variation in practice.  Healthcare practitioners may finally be ready to acknowledge that reducing variation is important to improving patient safety and outcomes according to Richard Smith of the NHS.

Healthcare, in efforts (presumably) to improve transparency and accountability,  is prone to developing extensive dashboards of KPIs with sometimes dubious value.  Some organizations are investing in Machine Learning to identify the KPIs that matter most and reduce overload.

I've long loathed “culture” as a cause of poor quality due to its lack of actionable countermeasures.  “We need a culture change” is rarely a useful strategy to improve outcomes for patients, although culture and quality are often linked.  This article explores the complexity of culture relative to quality in healthcare and the need to use framing and specificity to understand how to hone in on improvement.

Operational Excellence

User Experience (UX) is becoming increasingly popular and important for improving processes and reducing friction for customers.  Getting and analyzing user input is essential to great UX.  Here are 7 simple and effective methods for UX research.

The announcement of 14,000 jobs being slashed by GM can be partly attributed to its inability to create a culture of problem solving in this great piece by Steve Spear.

Leader Standard Work is an essential element of a high-functioning management system, but the discipline and commitment required to develop effective routines instead of the thrill of firefighting is difficult to overcome.  Didier Rabino discusses the importance and challenges of LSW.

Leading & Enabling Excellence

Trust your gut.  Follow your intuition.  How do we know without knowing?  Daniel Kahneman, author of the excellent book Thinking, Fast & Slow, reminds us that your intuition is probably wrong, unless these 3 conditions are met.

As work continues to change, it makes most sense to retrain the staff you already have in order to meet the challenge of matching skills to jobs.

Leadership articles and speeches are often riddled with reductionist cliches and watered-down aphorisms.  Geoffrey Garrett, Dean of the Wharton School, turns some cliches on their head.   

Coaching – Developing Self & Others

The greatest challenge for a coach is their own ego.  Marshall Goldsmith shares some traps and pitfalls for newly certified coaches.  

“Busy” people often compound their own problems.  Here are 4 ways busy people sabotage themselves

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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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