I'm very excited that one of the projects that I've been working on over the past few months has come to fruition.
A Playbook for Habitual Excellence: A Leader's Roadmap from the Life and Work of Paul H. O'Neill Sr.
The book is collection of speech transcripts:
- A speech given to UVA Health
- A speech given at the 2013 Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit (I was in the audience for that)
- A speech given to the IHI annual national forum
- Invited testimony given to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee
The book also contains other content, including:
- A foreword by Dr. John Toussaint
- An introduction by Paul O'Neill, Jr.
- A synopsis written by me
If you prefer, you can get the Kindle version by either:
- Purchasing it for $0.99 (or equivalent cost in other countries) — we would have made it free there if we could
- You can borrow and read it for free if you're a member of the Kindle Unlimited subscription program
Thinking Back to the Summit
Paul O'Neill asked the audience a question:
“How many of you work in an organization where 24 hours a day, you can go on the Internet, and you can see the OSHA recordable rate for your organization 24 hours a day, real time, and the Lost Workday Injury Rate for the people who work in your organization?”
How many people stood up? Not many.
Alcoa famously made this information available publicly on their website under Mr. O'Neill's leadership (and beyond). Sharing data (and stories using employee names internally) was one of the first steps in working to dramatically reduce these injuries.
The book is full of stories and wisdom from Mr. O'Neill — from his time leading Alcoa (and leading with safety as a pathway to “habitual excellence”) to his time as U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and his time influencing leaders in healthcare.
There are leadership lessons related to Lean, employee safety, and patient safety. It all starts with senior leadership — the direction they set for the organization and the leadership they provide.
I think the lessons here are pretty timeless. Mr. O'Neill has a very clear and consistent message across those speeches and remarks. Bill O'Rourke (who worked for Mr. O'Neill) referred to his approach as a “playbook.” Listen to my interview with Bill here in the “Habitual Excellence” podcast.
I'd love to see how this hypothesis would play out… if somebody were coming into a healthcare organization as the new CEO, what would happen if they followed Mr. O'Neill's playbook?
I hope you'll check out the book…
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