When the CEO is Leading the Health System Transformation, Great Things Can Happen


You might not be a regular listener of the Habitual Excellence podcast, presented by Value Capture (and hosted by me). I hope you are… or will be. I realize I pump out a lot of podcasts.

Our most recent episode will be of interest to you as a Lean practitioner, whether you work in healthcare or elsewhere.

Our guest was Roxanna Gapstur, the President and CEO of WellSpan Health in Pennsylvania. Before joining in that role, she had been at the Park Nicollet system in Minnesota, an organization that has had a great track record with Lean. She learned from some great mentors, which included some trips to Japan, Genie Industries in Washington, and more.

You can listen to (or watch) the episode using the link below:

WellSpan Health CEO Roxanna Gapstur, Leading the Creation of a Lean Management System


As she makes clear in the episode, SHE is leading the transformation effort. She's not delegating the responsibility for culture change. Even though Value Capture is supporting her in this cause, she hasn't outsourced responsibility either.

As a reminder, our recent webinar presenter, Mike Bundy, takes a similar approach at his two Prisma Health organizations.

Many (if not most) of the great Lean healthcare success stories (if not in all industries) have a CEO like a John Toussaint (ThedaCare), Gary Kaplan (Virginia Mason Medical Center), Art Byrne (Wiremold), Karl Wadensten (VIBCO), or Paul Akers (FastCap). One of the greatest examples ever is the late Paul O'Neill (Alcoa).

The CEO doesn't have all the answers, and they can't do it all, but the ultimate responsibility for things like:

  • Culture
  • Management system
  • Performance
  • Results
  • Safety
  • Quality

CANNOT be delegated….

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


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