Operational Excellence Mixtape: November 27, 2020


Thanks as always to Ryan McCormack for this… there's always so much good reading, listening, and viewing shared here by him!

Healthcare — Creating Value for Patients

It's exciting to see that Covid vaccines are on the way.  But the logistics of the “cold chain” are complex. Here's how a Covid-vaccine gets from the manufacturer to you

Lean thinkers often use full-scale simulations to test layouts or processes before developing standards (famously featured in The Founder where by the McDonald brothers design the SpeeDee Service System on a tennis court).   In Shreveport, Louisiana, health officials are taking advantage of this approach, months in advance of the availability of the Covid vaccines, by doing test runs in a parking lot

8 essays on how to build a better health care system.

Operational Excellence

I've spent my career supporting transformation and improvement efforts in organizations that average about 100 years in age.  I share 6 lessons for transforming 100 year old institutions

Focusing on safety, quality, and management requires effort and expense.  Failing to do so is even more costly.   Boeing's 737 Max debacle may be the most expensive blunder in corporate history.   The FAA says “this is the time for humility”, as the 737 Max is cleared again for takeoff

Shawn McKeogh draws on his experience in the attractions and leisure industry to share 9 ways to achieve operational excellence.

Interesting experiment shows that founders who apply lean startup methods made better decisions and more revenue.  More in HBR's Founders, Apply the Scientific Method.

Covid has forced many to work from home, or use a hybrid model between office and home.  Here are Four Principles to Ensure Hybrid Work is Productive Work

Leading & Enabling Excellence

At some point, writers and consultants began to differentiate between “manager” and “leader”, resulting in “leader” being a distinct and preferable role, with outsized compensation and recognition, while “manager” was relegated to low-level bureaucratic roles.  Steve Denning pinpoints the causes and timelines of this shift, in Why ‘Management' Became a Bad Word.  

Digital transformation isn't just about tech.  Effective digital transformation requires shifting management attention to value creation and systemic thinking

Frontline leaders drive culture.  Leadership Basics for Frontline Managers

Meetings correlate with a decline in happiness and productivity. It was only a matter of time before we sought to digitally transform and optimize meetings using AI.  

Coaching – Developing Self & Others

If I had a dollar for every time I heard “holding people accountable” as the solution to all organizational problems, I'd retire.  The challenge is, no one seems to know how to do this well.  Here are 3 shifts leaders need to make in How to Actually Encourage Employee Accountability.

Books, Podcasts, Videos

Books I'm currently reading:

A friend of mine recommended Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss – a deep dive into negotiating skills from a FBI hostage negotiator. I'm only half way through and loving it.  

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by Michael Epstein.  An interesting counter-point to the “10,000 hour” view of expertise.  

I'm re-reading Letters from a Stoic by Seneca. A classic that I find helpful, especially in the current day. 

Podcasts I'm listening to:

Excellence requires ruthless consistency – What's Next! with Tiffani Bova: Ruthless Consistency With Michael Canic – many gems in this one.

Oscar Trimboli discusses Four Habits That Derail Listening on Coaching for Leaders Episode 500

I've started to dip into the My Favorite Mistake podcast series where Mark Graban interviews leaders about failure and its lessons.  

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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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