Operational Excellence Mixtape: November 8, 2019

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The mixtape contains news, blogs, articles, resources, and links about creating value, continuous improvement, innovation, and leadership in healthcare and industry – compiled and shared by Ryan McCormack


Healthcare – Creating Value for Patients

“Imagine walking into a restaurant and being seated. Sometime after your meal, you receive the check and find an additional charge that was not indicated on the menu or previously mentioned by your waiter. The charge — before your gratuity — is a 34 percent markup simply labeled, ‘Surcharge.'” David Lind describes the Six Categories of Waste in Healthcare from this opinion piece from the Des Moines Register.  I love to see lean terminology in the news.

A Level 4 virology lab that handles and investigates the world's deadliest viruses has a “toxic work environment”.  What could possibly go wrong?

I recall when hospital overcapacity protocols aka “Code Purple” were being called every day for over a year in some local hospitals.  When a “special cause” alarm is sounded every day, it simply becomes the new norm and no longer drives any useful behaviour.  In Ottawa, level zero situations,where there are no ambulances to attend to emergent patients, is a new norm.  

Operational Excellence

Steven Spear reminds us that “success depends on relentlessly building capability, and capability is built by the clarity of feedback and the discipline of response” in IndustryWeek's article “Why Doesn't Lean Have a Seat at The Table?”.

Demand for regional air travel is expected to continue to rapidly increase.  How will aviation companies meet this challenge while maintaining quality and safety?  Kaizen according to Takaoki Niwa, President of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries North America. 

How can organizations build opex capabilities?  Give employees time and have operational leaders and staff own the problem solving.  Ryan King and Chris Dando share “Smart Strategies to Build Capability in OpEx” in this interview from the processexcellencenetwork.com.

In our zeal to iterate or develop solutions, we may overlook causal analysis or diagnosis (it's too slow – we think).  The wrong diagnosis means the wrong remedy

Dan Markovitz implores lean consultants to stop talking about lean in Japanese terms and lean jargon and simply explain the benefits of sound leadership practices

If you're starting a CX praxtice or system, Mathew May advises you on 9 Things to Know Before Implementing a Customer Experience System.

Leading & Enabling Excellence

Leading with humility is considered a foundational principle of operational excellence as it enables scientific thinking, innovation,  and continuous improvement in the workplace.  Research into humility is growing and it appears it may be a very important personality trait – that's hard to fake.

The rapidly evolving business conditions of the 21st century require that managers cannot know all the answers and technical skills expected of them during the “command-and-control” era of the 20th century.  Leaders need to provide guidance instead of instruction, and allow staff to adapt and innovate.  Leaders must act as coaches.

What can we learn about organizational culture from Genghis Khan?  Silicon Valley leaders are turning to historical leaders for inspiration to develop culture.

Coaching – Developing Self & Others

To tackle large and complex tasks, your brain works in two modes: focused and diffuse.  Finding how to best use these two modes together is the key to doing your best work.

“The things we want are transformative, and we don't know or only think we know what is on the other side of that transformation… Never to get lost is not to live.” Rebecca Solnit's Field Guide to Getting Lost is a beautiful reminder that exploring the unknown is essential to self-development

Facilitation is a skill that can be taught and practiced. Use teaching protocols to enhance your facilitation skills.

Books, Podcasts, Videos

Quint Studer's best-selling The Busy Leader's Handbook: How to Lead People and Places That Thrive is a must read for management consultants, busy managers,  and leader standard work enthusiasts.

Art Markman discusses How You Know What You Don't Know on Coaching for Leaders podcast.  Great discussion on the Dunning-Kruger effect, expert generalists, why traditional mentoring programs don't work, and other great threads.  

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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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