Operational Excellence Mixtape: December 11, 2020


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

One more note from Mark: Check out Episode 26 of “My Favorite Mistake” with singer and radio host Yaya Diamond as our guest.

Healthcare — Creating Value for Patients

Virginia Mason shares its lessons learned on Building a Culture of Respect for People (paywall)

Covid has necessitated the widespread adoption of virtual care in Canada. As recently as February 2020, the Canadian Medical Association Journal reported that fewer than 25 percent of family physicians in Canada made themselves available by email, and just 4 percent provided video visits (Vogel 2020). But by June 2020, virtual care represented over 70 percent of the ambulatory care provided by hospitals and doctors' offices across the country.  What does the future of virtual care look like for Canada? Read this excellent research from CD Howe Institute titled Canada's Virtual Care Revolution: A Framework for Success.

It's been 10 years since Stanford Business Magazine ran a cover story about using design thinking to improve the social sector, coinciding with the launch of IDEO and a wave of social innovators.  Here's a great feature on success stories, lessons learned, and what's The Next Chapter in Design for Social Innovation

Operational Excellence

Continuous improvement requires a growth mindset, always looking for ways to be a little better, even when you are performing at the top of your game.  Damian Lillard of the Portland Trailblazers demonstrates a continuous improvement mindset in this interview with Dime

Lean thinkers look upstream to improve, focusing on preventing problems before they occur.  Dan Heath, author of Upstream, answers questions about upstream thinking and when it is applicable in an interview in Rotman Management Magazine called Solving Problems Before They Start.

Fact-based decisions are a cornerstone of operational excellence.  Check out these 3 mini-lessons on Making Better Decisions from MIT Sloan School of Business

I offer up 9 tips on How to Communicate Standards to People Who Hate Being Told What to Do.

Innovation labs have popped up in many organizations in the last 10 years, and many are now being dismantled.  Here are Five Reasons Your Boss Was Right to Shut Down Your Innovation Lab.

Many organizations have been installing productivity monitoring software for employees working from home in fear that a lack of their physical oversight means their staff are taking an extended vacation.  You may think your company is not one of them, but if they use Microsoft 365 (they probably do), they can track your productivity and measure a personal score

Leading & Enabling Excellence

What separates “successful” leaders from others?  Hard work?  Intelligence?  According to Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan, “humility, openness, fairness, being authentic” are the most important traits.  

Everyone hates micromanagement, usually because we associate it with controlling people.  But micromanagement of process is essential for improvement

Coach John Wooden's 6 Ways to Rethink Change

Coaching – Developing Self & Others

Most of us have worked for or with a leader that lacks self-awareness: he blames external factors for all failures, and overestimates his abilities.  Here's how to avoid becoming one of these leaders in Don't Get Blindsided by Your Blind Spots

How to recognize and stop sabotaging yourself at work

Creativity, innovation, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills will remain the most sought after skills in the workforces of the future according to the newest 2020 Future of Work Survey.

Books, Podcasts, Videos

Books I'm currently reading:

Some books on my Christmas list include:

Edward Tufte's newest installment on data visualization Seeing with Fresh Eyes: Meaning, Space, Data, Truth

Expert: Understanding the Path to Mastery by Roger Kneebone looks great.

I'm a believer in reducing the need for heroic efforts of individuals to achieve goals.  Who Not How: The Formula to Achieve Bigger Goals Through Accelerating Teamwork looks to deliver.

Podcasts I'm listening to:

You will learn more about what it takes to be a great leader and better decision maker from Roger Martin and Shane Parrish in Forward Thinking: The Knowledge Project podcast episode #97

I enjoyed Episode 22 of My Favorite Mistake featuring prolific lean thinker and leader Karen Martin

Jim Collins is always a great listen.  He returns to the Tim Ferriss Show for Episode 483: Jim Collins on the Value of Small Gestures, Unseen Sources of Power, and More.

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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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