Operational Excellence Mixtape: July 3, 2020


Thanks as always to Ryan McCormack for this…

Healthcare – Creating Value for Patients

Health Care Workers Protect Us. It's Time To Protect Them.  Great article in HBR by Ken Segel and John Toussaint.

Volume-based incentives drive behaviours — often dangerous ones.  Dr. Bruce Ramshaw shares a candid story of his worst medical error as a surgeon under the grips of the volume model of care

Since the crisis, many have stopped going to the doctor.  Most report they are fine.  Healthcare is too reliant on downstream interventions and is prone to overproduction.  Perhaps this crisis can cause us to rethink some fundamental assumptions about healthcare design.  

What happens when you put up a warning sign?  What if you put up 1000 different ones? One of the main benefits of Electronic Medical Records is purported to be improving safety by alerting clinicians of potential adverse conditions, but kevinmd describes how EMRs can worsen patient safety if poorly designed and configured

Operational Excellence

Deming encouraged a focus on the long-term and fostering relationships with stakeholders.  McKinsey shows the corporate world is catching up with his philosophy in The Value of Value Creation

Workplaces often build governance and approval processes with good intentions, but over time, they become self-defeating.  Mark Graban describes an experience where Asking Permission Over 50 Cents Costs Far More Than 50 Cents.  

How should you select your next improvement project? Try playing 20 questions for improvement projects to help you decide.

How does improvement happen?  Incrementally or by leaps and bounds?  Kaizen or innovation?  Jerry Neumann explores this perceived dichotomy and concludes that innovation/scientific changes likely follow a power-law distribution – there is a whole spectrum of changes in between incremental and step changes.  

What does it mean to “own” a KPI?  Stacy Barr outlines the 3 things a KPI Owner is accountable for

When's the best time for digital transformation?  Now. Or probably yesterday.  

Covid has caused an acceleration of digital transformation.  Even in Justice.  Judge Bridget Mary McCormack (no relation) describes how technology can be leveraged for long term change in the courts.  

Leading & Enabling Excellence

Listening is the most important thing we, as humans, can do for one another.  Bob Chapman reminds us to Listen For a Change

The crisis has shown that it's best to lead with your head AND your heart.

Don't replace a bad meeting with a bad remote meeting

Coaching – Developing Self & Others

Feeling unproductive?  It could be “bikeshedding” that's causing you to stall.

Trauma therapy can teach us a lot about how to cultivate resilience.

Books, Podcasts, Videos

New to the concept of value? I've been using Akshita Agarwal's brief explanation of the Paradox of Value (3:31) to introduce the basic concept of value to newcomers to lean thinking.  It seems to resonate.  

We often hear “we need to hold others accountable”, but to what? I really enjoyed hearing Stacey Barr on What to Hold People Accountable For on Coaching for Leadership Podcast 475.

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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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