I was really happy to see this recent blog post from my friend Dr. Eric Dickson, the CEO of UMass Memorial Health System:
“Other than seeing patients, huddling with frontline caregivers is my favorite part of this job. The one constant at the huddles is that there are always more ideas coming from the team then there is time to implement, and that's a good thing. I coach the teams to have the courage to prioritize the ideas that will have the biggest impact with the smallest amount of effort.”
But he makes a good point about not only focusing on BIG ideas:
“Some ideas are huge and will take months to accomplish. If you take too many of these on, you will have an idea traffic jam of sorts.”
Many many small ideas can make a difference, as UMass Memorial has learned, as Eric writes, “… often these ideas are true innovation.”
It's helpful to count HOW MANY ideas have been implemented, not just a financial impact (something that's NOT reported in Eric's blog post, and I think that's fine):
“To date, we have implemented 78,087 ideas! That's incredible! I don't know of another company in New England that can say they've implemented that many ideas from their frontline teams.”
I think it's great how Eric plays the role of encouraging MORE kaizen — stating his belief in people:
“And let's keep the ideas coming. We generally generate 13,000 to 15,000 new ideas a year. Do you think we can exceed that goal and hit 100,000 by the end of fiscal year 2020? My money is on “yes we can”!”
I hope you find this to be inspiring.
Here is a 2014 blog post about his goal of a culture of continuous improvement:
You can also see what I wrote about their work five years ago:
And you can listen to our podcast from earlier this year:
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Check out my latest book, The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation: