Ryan McCormack’s Operational Excellence Mixtape: April 23, 2021

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

News, blogs, articles, resources, and links about creating value, continuous improvement, innovation, and leadership.


Healthcare – Creating Value for Patients

Dr. John Toussaint shares his reflections in If I Were to Lead Another Lean Transformation.

New Press Ganey Report Warns That Covid-19 May Have Worsened Hospital Safety

How Henry Ford Health System partnered with churches and community organizations on vaccine distribution

Operational Excellence

Employee-led improvement systems can be much more than a place to raise issues.  Great improvement systems develop the critical thinking and creativity of the entire organization. Is Your Team Solving Problems, or Just Identifying Them?

Subtraction is an overlooked problem-solving approach.  Our Brain Typically Overlooks This Brilliant Problem-Solving Strategy

Many people mistakenly believe that having no inventory is a goal of the Toyota Production System, but having no inventory at the expense of flow to the customer is anathema to TPS.  Toyota reminds us that learning and continual improvement reign supreme in this Bloomberg piece,  How Toyota Steered Clear of the Chip Shortage Mess.

It's common to hear operational leaders claim that their operations are “already streamlined” as a defense against a challenge to improve.  The principle of seeking perfection is one of the more difficult principles to embed, partly because perception of ‘perfection' is subjective, when it is generally more useful as an abstract concept.  I enjoyed this article from the Manila Times on the topic Seeking Perfection Is Pure Monkey Business.

Leading & Enabling Excellence

Legendary tech leader and innovator Rich Sheridan discusses how he continues to bring joy to work during Covid-19.

The Power of Catalytic Questions

Some good reminders of how to Lead During a Time of Change.

Collaboration analytics: Yes, you can track employees. Should you?

Coaching – Developing Self & Others

What If The Most Important Skill In Providing Effective Feedback Is… Asking Questions


Books, Podcasts, Videos

Books I'm currently reading:

For advocates of scientific thinking, a colleague recommends Hans Rosling's 2018 book,  Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World–and Why Things Are Better Than You Think.  I'm definitely gonna check this out.


Podcasts I'm listening to:

Always enjoy listening to Tom Peters and Mark Graban.  Tom Peters discusses Getting Fired from McKinsey on Mark Graban's podcast My Favorite Mistake episode 58.

The Fearless Organization with Amy Edmondson on What's Next with Tiffani Bova

Here's a great, brief synopsis of What Went Wrong With the Boeing 737 Max. on HBR's Cold Call.


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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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