Operational Excellence Mixtape: May 10, 2019


Healthcare – Creating Value for Patients

A group of Winnipeg physicians is opening a clinic designed to treat non-emergent patients in an effort to reduce Emergency Room overcrowding.   Tom Brodbeck of the Winnipeg Sun is skeptical that it addresses any underlying causes to ER overcrowding

In 2001, Virginia Mason engaged in a bet-the-farm strategy on quality and safety by adopting principles of the Toyota Production System and applying them to healthcare.  CEO Gary Kaplan reflects on his ongoing “war on waste”.

Great interview with former Hartford Healthcare leaders Mohamed Saleh and Connie Flores on Healthcare lessons in Lean.

Operational Excellence

70 – 100% of those convened to solve problems should be internal to the organization.  This according to a Forbes opinion piece which suggests placing a focus on developing your internal problem-solving capabilities instead of outsourcing thinking to consultants.

It seems like every new methodology consultant touting agile or innovation lays claim to the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle as exclusive to that domain.  Here's a good piece on the evolution of the PDCA cycle from Shewhart to Deming from the 1950's to the 1990's.

Excellent piece from Farnam Street on the Anatomy of a Great Decision.

Innovation is the most commonly heard word in organizations these days.  Talking about it is the easy part.

 Only 6 per cent of executives satisfied with their innovation performance as reported by a McKinsey and Co. Global Innovation Survey.  Here's why Innovation is failing, and how to improve your organization's innovation structure.  For the last 30 years, this article would have substituted “transformation”, “lean”, or “continuous improvement”, with probably the same advice.

“We need leadership support”.  A common refrain heard from all transformation leaders, but what exactly are you asking for?  Lisa Yerian encourages us to Stop Asking Your Leaders to Support Your Lean Transformation and start being specific.

Design thinking has a lot of overlap with OpEx principles.  Here's a great overview of 6 Design Thinking Mindsets & Practices for Beginners.

OpEx is primarily concerned with achieving measurably better value for customers.  What might creating value look like in a ‘postnormal' corporate world?

Leading & Enabling Excellence

The idea that leaders should create joy in the workplace is (rightfully) gaining popularity in corporate circles.  Forbes describes 4 things leaders can do to create joy in the workplace.

Moneyball was a huge book, movie, and corporate movement in the 2000's.  Every sports team and business started investing in advanced analytics to gain and advantage.  The problem?  If every team has Moneyball capabilities, it's no longer an advantage – it's simply table stakes.  

A lot has changed in the business landscape in 30 years.  How has this impacted views and practices on strategy?  James Allen of Bain & Co. with an interesting reflection on 30 years of strategy consulting in The Changing Nature of Strategy. 

Coaching – Developing Self & Others

There's a potential downside to self improvement.  Time magazine discusses a study that shows that people who imagine staying fairly constant over the years may have more satisfying lives than those who think they'll grow to be different.  Hmmm.

Quint Studer says it's better to be interested than interesting.

Need an email detox?  Corporate Rebels prescribes a program of email detox.

Time management regret for failures of our past can be paralyzing. Here's 4 tips on how to break free of unhelpful mindsets caused by time management regret. 

Books, Podcasts, Videos

Work Life with Adam Grant hosts Marcus Buckingham on a great podcast When Strengths Become Weaknesses

Shane Parrish from Farnam Street discusses Mental Models with Sam Harris in a pursuit to understand how to make better decisions.  

Get These Mixtapes via Email


What do you think? Please scroll down (or click) to post a comment. Or please share the post with your thoughts on LinkedIn – and follow me or connect with me there.

Did you like this post? Make sure you don't miss a post or podcast — Subscribe to get notified about posts via email daily or weekly.

Check out my latest book, The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation:

Get New Posts Sent To You

Select list(s):
Previous articleFamily Guy Skewers Marie Kondo (and 5S and Lean too?)
Next articleA Few “Thumbs Up” Reviews for “Measures of Success” — On Sale for $2.99
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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.