Operational Excellence Mixtape: June 5, 2020


Thanks as always to Ryan McCormack for this…

Healthcare – Creating Value for Patients

Electronic Health Records and Computerized Physician Order Entry were going to reduce errors and save lives by providing better clinical decision support and alerts for potential adverse drug events.  Has it?  According to a study using the Leapfrog CPOE EHR assessment there has been modest progress on the path to EHR medication safety in the last 10 years.  Clearly more work needs to be done on the path to eliminating medication errors.

Healthcare funding is higher than ever and great breakthroughs have been made in vaccinations, antiretrovirals, and child mortality.  Why do we still struggle with tropical diseases and pandemics?  Healthcare requires adaptive leadership rather than traditional technical leadership to foster greater stakeholder ownership

One great thing about standardized management systems is that it provides reliable methods of raising and solving problems, rather than reactionary countermeasures.  The Cleveland Clinic demonstrates how a standardized management system and improvement culture allows for fast, safe, and efficient response to Covid-19.

Canada's long term care sector is under some long-deserved scrutiny as a result of Covid-19.  An underlying cause of the failure of long-term care in Canada is our ageist society, but the usual causes of focusing on short-term profits, poorly defined value, lack of focus on the customer are also evident in Canada's LTC sector.

Operational Excellence

Experienced lean practitioners eventually discover that its principles are universal and transcend tools and jargon.  The same is true for agile.  Everything I need to know about coping with crisis, I learned from the Agile Manifesto.  

“Stay away from people who are world-weary and belittle your ambitions”.   Great blog post from Sam Altman on Idea Generation.  

Strategy deployment is often portrayed as cascading corporate goals, but Strategy Deployment really is about intent, and likely requires connection and translation at each level rather than a cascade.  

I've often been surprised at the variation in process and customer experience at airports. DO I take my shoes off for screening here or not? Airports should collaborate to respond with agility, automation, and standardization to get aviation moving again.

This article could've just as easily been written about any organization adopting Lean.  Doing Agile Right: From Agile Mindset to Agile Principles.  

Leading & Enabling Excellence

For many organizations, KPIs were developed without remote work in mind.  Performance management and KPIs need rethinking in the post-covid world, but trust and transparency are key.  I worry that managers, without the traditional ‘oversight' available, will resort to Orwellian surveillance instead of trust, like in this example from the New York Times  How My Boss Monitors Me While I work From Home

Most large organizations have an Innovation practice, but, like most newer capabilities, they are prone to being vanity projects and box-checking theatrical productions.  Here's How Corporate Leaders Can Avoid Innovation Theatre.  

How Narcissistic Leaders Destroy from Within.

Here's an interesting story of how leaders at a bank refocused their team's capabilities for a common purpose during Covid19.

Coaching – Developing Self & Others

Not that you need another email in your inbox, but I highly recommend subscribing to James Clear's 3-2-1 mailing list.  

“It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.” – Mark Twain.  People admire leaders who are decisive but making decisions quickly makes us vulnerable to bias. Remove bias to improve decision-making

Books, Podcasts, Videos

Michael Lewis, author of Liar's Poker, Moneyball, and The Big Short has dedicated his second season of the podcast Against The Rules to understanding the field of coaching.  Check out Listen to the Coach In Your Head.

As a Starbucks lover and lean thinker, I really enjoyed the leanblog podcast with Karen Gaudet, author of Steady Work, on Lean at Starbucks

Great video Why Spitballing is the Key to Innovation

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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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