A Dutch Engineer Now Working in Lean Healthcare: Arnout Orelio

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My guest for Episode #403 is Arnout Orelio, author of the book Lean Thinking for Emerging Healthcare Leaders: How to Develop Yourself and Implement Process Improvements.

Arnout is from the Netherlands, but we have crossed paths a number of times when he and many of his Dutch colleagues have come to the U.S. for events like the Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit, produced by Catalysis. His book, written in English, has a lot of great lessons for leaders and Lean practitioners in American healthcare and beyond. He has also written two books in Dutch.

Arnout and I have strikingly similar professional backgrounds and paths, which we discuss in the episode. We are both engineers who progressed from the automotive industry into healthcare. We talk about how he shifted into healthcare (in 2005, same year as me) and how this experience has reinforced that:

“Leadership is not a person, it's a process. Everyone can be a leader if you want to change something.”

We talk about the differences in the Dutch healthcare system, at a high level, and the similarities in how Lean can be applied. We also discuss topics near and dear to my heart:

  • Why Lean should keep employees (and patients) happy
  • Process Behavior Charts
  • Training Within Industry / Job Instruction
  • Eliminating overburden for healthcare staff (see the first bullet point)
  • The relevance of TWI to Covid vaccination

Here are his website and his publisher's websites, so please take a look.

The podcast is sponsored by Stiles Associates, now in their 30th year of business. They are the go-to Lean recruiting firm serving the manufacturing, private equity and healthcare industries. Learn more.

This podcast is part of the #LeanCommunicators network

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




Video of the Episode


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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

1 Comment
  1. Ben Bennett says

    Everyone likes to be viewed highly by their coworkers. Most people have pride in their work, and want to do well. Having strong job skills is one way to get those things.

    Unfortunately, Lean changes the skills you need to be good at your job.

    When your company becomes Lean, you don’t just have to do your own process well. You have to do process improvement well. You have to not only get better at your job; you have to make your job better.

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