Emily Elrod on What it Means to Work “WISE”

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Emily Elrod

My guest for Episode #385 of the podcast is Emily Elrod, the president of the firm Workzbe, based in Georgia.

We have shared interests in Lean, ergonomics, healthcare and creating better workplaces. We met earlier this year and she was kind enough to interview me for her YouTube channel.

As she describes in the episode, her career has evolved from designing equipment, to wellness and Lean in a health system, to her own firm. Her WISE framework means to work Well, Intelligent, Safe, and Empowered.

We'll talk about the need to be “HOT” (Humble, Open, and Transparent), the psychology of change, and more.

“I think the biggest threat to health promotion is doing things to people instead of with them.” 

Emily Elrod

I hope you enjoy the conversation like I did. You can listen to the audio or watch the video, below.


Streaming Audio Player:



Video of the Episode:


For a link to this episode, refer people to www.leanblog.org/385.


  • Introductions and professional background
  • How did you shift from working on factory ergonomics to broader wellness?
  • How did you first get introduced to formal improvement methodologies, Lean or otherwise?
  • No quick fix 
  • Focusing on frustrations — stressors (physical or mental)
  • HOT – humble, open, transparent
  • Fight or flight… care or connect
    • Know your body – when you “freeze”
  • How do you define “wellness” from a corporate perspective? Is it different than how we might look at our own wellness as individuals? 
  • Success stories from healthcare? Struggles and lessons learned? 
    • Reactive vs. preventative
    • Eliminating people :-(
  • What have you learned about the psychology of change?
  • Wellbeing, safety, leadership
  • Tell us about WISE work

Mark and Emily's conversation from May on her YouTube channel:

Thanks for listening or watching!


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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

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