Operational Excellence Mixtape: November 22, 2019


Healthcare – Creating Value for Patients

Healthcare improvement is often done through QI projects in an “artisan” fashion.  To improve healthcare improvement, combat bias and us evidence according to Mary Dixon-Woods.  Her article elicited a response in the same publication.

One would think that the incidence of leaving surgical objects inside patients would be a “never event”.  Not so, in fact the number of surgical objects being left inside people has increased significantly in Canada and exceeds the averages of most other countries that report on it.  The “it happens” defence is invoked in this article, ensuring complacency remains. 

If we want better healthcare, we need to take better care of caregivers.  Caregivers become invisible patients themselves.

Operational Excellence

If you're an OpEx leader, remember that You're Not the Hero.  

Huddles are becoming pretty much standard these days.  But standardizing huddles isn't.  “Doing huddles” for its own sake is of little value.  Nate Hurle shares how Cleveland Clinic improved their huddles over time. 

I often get asked “how are innovation engineering and lean different/same”.  I find these approaches distinct, complementary, but with some overlap.  Adam Ward warns us to Keep Lean Out of Innovation in a provocative response to this question.  

As more work becomes digital, I'm increasingly becoming a fan of Process Mining as a useful tool to understand and “see the work” for the purposes of improvement.  Here are Four Ways Process Mining Can Save Your Business.   

Leading & Enabling Excellence

Coaching and empathy were once the purview of the best CEO's.  Now, all CEOs who are looking to better themselves are looking to develop these skills. 

McKinsey Quarterly goes over the Numbers Behind Successful Transformations.  

Many anticipate that the the future of work will require a more humanistic approach to management.  Here's an interesting take on A Human Way of Business: Organizational Behaviors Necessary To Redefine Leadership.

Leading in a digital world requires an update to traditional production/operational leadership assumptions.  Here are 5 Rules for Leading in a Digital World. 

Tom Peters has long promoted the practice of Management By Wandering Around (MBWA), but Bob Sutton suggests that bosses are often disruptive when doing so, in Bosses, Get Out of Your Employees' Way.

Quit talking and complaining.  Start doing.

MIT Sloan shares a dozen of the most popular articles on leadership.

Coaching – Developing Self & Others

Be Slow To Criticize and Quick to Commend

Instructional coaching often requires the coach to improvise when developing questions to move the coachee forward.  Here is an excellent resource that provides Great Questions for Instructional Coaches.

A study of scientists applying for research grants suggests that early failure does indeed create resiliency, while early success may create complacency

When in doubt, try it out, according to entrepreneur and minimalist Derek Sivers.

Understand your audience if you want people to adopt your recommendations. 

Books, Podcasts, Videos

Hal Gregersen, author of the book Questions are the Answer, explains the power of asking great questions on What's Next with Tiffani Bova.

Your meetings aren't effective.  Even with an agenda.  Meetings are probably the largest expense line item for corporations, yet very little attention is paid to them.  Listen to this HBR ideacast on Why Meetings Go Wrong (And How to Fix Them).

Do you wonder what a “red collar” worker is?  It's always better to hear about the Toyota Way from people who worked there.  Check out Mark Graban's discussion with 22 year Toyota veteran Tim Turner on Leanblog podcast. 

I love anything with Daniel Kahneman.  Check out The Knowledge Project with Shane Parrish Episode 68 where Daniel Kahneman will surely convince you that you aren't as great a decision-maker as you believe.

I recommend Lean Enterprise Institute's podcast with Amy Edmondson on Building a Fearless Organization.

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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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