Operational Excellence Mixtape: July 5, 2019


Healthcare – Creating Value for Patients

Imagine a healthcare system that responds to each patient's circumstances and preferences in real-time.  Real-time measurement of a patient's experience could be the holy grail of patient-centred design, and a group of physicians tested out a system to capture real-time outcomes that matter to patients

There are many competing philosophies when it comes to designing healthcare spaces, with some favouring “off stage” Disney-inspired design and others focusing on optimizing interactions between clinicians.  Should space be optimized for patient experience, clinician-patient interaction, clinician efficiency, or all of the above?  Did Architects Really Ruin Healthcare?

How do you measure quality in healthcare? Sachin Jain has an interesting take on what to measure.

Cost does not equal quality.  North Americans know that massive increases in healthcare does not produce corresponding increases in quality of care.  China has more than tripled their health spending since National reform and has seen no measurable improvement in quality

Canada is considering creating a National Pharmacare program to reduce costs to families and patients.  Who will pay for it?  Tom Koch argues we already do. 

Operational Excellence

Do lean and automation mix?  Robots and lean can complement each other with the right perspective.

5 tips on how to successfully execute an Operational Strategy

Strategy Deployment requires clarity, focus, discipline, and alignment.  Here's a summary of 6 failure modes to avoid in strategy deployment

Similarly, organizations often think that when it comes to strategic initiatives, more is better.  Focus is key to being a better problem solver and helping your team get better.

An enduring myth is that science is not a creative endeavour. Scientific thinking is creative – it's about discovery, testing, wondering.  People already know how to learn facts – look them up.  Those of us who develop improvement skills in others can learn from Sally Hoskins' article, How I learned to teach like a scientist. 

MIT and Glassdoor have teamed up to create the Culture 500, a searchable list of corporations and how they stack up on the Big 9 Cultural Values that drive performance. 

Leading & Enabling Excellence

People don't fear change so much as they resist uncertainty.  When dealing with ambiguity and uncertainty, your best bets are to be transparent and start acting or experimenting to develop confidence.  IDEO expounds on this in 4 Tips for Navigating Ambiguity 

Leading and enabling excellence requires humility from the top.  Boeing's CEO, after initially blaming others, takes responsibility and apologizes for admits that Boeing made a mistake with its 737 Max debacle.  Too late? Time will tell. The case studies of Johnson & Johnson's response to the 1982 Tylenol murders and Maple Leaf Foods' listeria crisis in 2008  provide a blueprint of taking immediate ownership of and immediately responding to the problem to maintain consumer trust, even though it is initially costly.  I wonder why more don't learn from this.

Speaking of humility, Emotional Intelligence Guru Daniel Goleman offers up another great article on Leading With Humility

Coaching – Developing Self & Others

Focusing on the impermanence of bad experiences can help control emotions in Bob Sutton's Imaginary Time Travel as Leadership Tool

The modern workplace keeps changing.  Showing up early, working, hard, and mastering your craft are no longer enough to ensure a rewarding career.  Employees are growing dissatisfied with work-life balance and report that they are disengaged.  Why?  A corporate VP at Microsoft analyzed the data and sought out the truth about what was making his employees sad – too many meetings

Once you work more than 50 hours a week, your productivity tails off.  Bartleby discusses how companies worldwide can counter presenteeism in The Joy of Absence

What do you do when your professional career is on the decline and “no one needs you anymore”?  Your work peak may be coming sooner than you think.  The decline is inevitable, but misery is not.

Books, Podcasts, Videos

Speed vs. quality.  Going slow vs. going fast.  Lean and continuous improvement is usually at the centre of the tension between these forces in the workplace.  Malcolm Gladwell explores the challenges of rewarding “hares” vs. “tortoises” in his study of the law profession in Revisionist History: “The Tortoise and the Hare”

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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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