Operational Excellence Mixtape: October 16, 2020


Thanks as always to Ryan McCormack for this…

Healthcare — Creating Value for Patients

A nurse who was disciplined for using Facebook to criticize a health care system that cared for her grandfather has won an appeal after a 5-year ordeal.  Healthcare workers need to be able to advocate for loved ones and families without fear of reprisal.  

How do complex systems like healthcare adapt to externalities like a pandemic?  How can we manage more effectively?  Great article on Healthcare Management During Covid19: Insights from Complexity Science.

A friend, and fellow Edward Tufte fan, reminded me of Tufte's Practical Advice For Medical Patients.  

Cleveland Clinic shares the Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2021.

Operational Excellence

Lean supply chains are being vilified as the cause of worldwide pandemic-related shortages.  Increasingly volatile and unpredictable business conditions have exposed the vulnerabilities of many systems that have been subject to over-optimization and the removal of slack.  Supply chain experts are rethinking Strategies to Balance Lean and Resilience.

So much data but so little improvement.  Here are 4 ways to use actioned analytics to actually drive customer value

Jidoka is a pillar of the Toyota Production System but it is difficult to explain, understand, and master.  Lean practitioners have evolved to eschew automation as a process solution, possibly as a result of some adaptations of Ohno's writings on autonomation.  This article explains the evolution of Jidoka from its roots at Toyota to its relevance in the more fully-automated paradigm of Industry 4.0.  

GE CEO Larry Culp continues to try to convince Wall Street that a lean culture will deliver long term benefits.  

Leading & Enabling Excellence

We are drawn to leaders who are decisive and confident; charismatic, and entrust them to make the most important decisions.  But we should be wary of the overconfident narcissistic leader's ability to make high-quality decisions.  New research shows “grandiose narcissists' overconfidence, impulsivity, and a willingness to ignore expert advice results in a higher likelihood of making a bad decision. In addition, after getting the wrong answer, grandiose narcissists are more likely to blame others and remain self-confident in their judgment.”

Amy Edmondson explains to CNBC how psychological safety in the workplace improves productivity and describes 4 ways to get it.  

When hiring, we are often attracted to and seduced by the “genius”, rather than the more socially adept “butterfly”. But it's hard to operationalize great ideas when you only have an organization of geniuses and few butterflies, according to Shane Parrish in Being Smart is Not Enough

Coaching – Developing Self & Others

It's only a failure if you don't learn

When managers start skipping out of meetings for developing their teams, we often assume they don't care.  But maybe the manager is struggling to cope.  Is Anyone Coaching Your Manager?

Degrees or skills?  Many business leaders suggest that hiring for skills over degrees will be more important in the future of work.  A former IBM CEO discusses hiring for skills over degrees in the tech sector.

Books, Podcasts, Videos

Focusing on efficiency and improving productivity has long been sold as the economical lever that will continue to improve everyone's quality of life ad infinitum.  Roger Martin's new book When More is Not Better: Overcoming America's Obsession with Economic Efficiency makes a compelling case for why this no longer holds, and what new models are required to change this thinking.  

Want a great exercise to demonstrate the complexity of simple systems?  Ask people to draw the process for “how to make toast..   I've tried it out – it works as advertised.

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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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