Ryan McCormack’s Operational Excellence Mixtape: July 16, 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

Anyone who has been in the improvement business knows that the hardest part is sustainment and follow-up.  Many improvement projects or events declare victory too soon and neglect the attention, involvement, and time required to assess sustainment.  Read more about how to avoid these traps in the BMJ editorial Sustaining quality improvement efforts: emerging principles and practice.

Communication in a hospital is essential to quality and safety.  Check out this excellent guide from the IHI on Linking Quality, Safety, and Well-being Through Healthcare Debriefing.

In June, the WHO released guidance on the use of Artificial Intelligence to improve healthcare around the world

Speaking of AI in healthcare, it's not surprising that clinicians remain skeptical of AI-based diagnostic tools, especially if there's no practical ability to implement them.  Here's an excellent discourse on how to improve the chances of clinician adoption of AI from Dr. John Halamka in Learning from AI's Failures.  


Operational Excellence

Most large organizations invest tremendous resources and time into reporting, budgeting, and forecasting.  Controlling costs is critical to maintain a healthy financial position and organizations need to diligently monitor how it spends money – but that's only one side of the income statement.  Roger Martin argues that revenue forecasting is particularly wasteful as most organizations have little control or influence over its primary drivers.  Read more in The Delusion of Revenue Forecasting

Establishing consistent leadership behaviors is the holy grail of a lean management system.  Leader standard work is often the last element to be embraced by the “good for thee but not for me” cheerleaders of transformation.  Much like improving a work process, leader standard work requires practice, dedication, follow-up, and failure.  Enjoy this great piece on planet lean Standard Work for Leaders.

What is lean?  Is it a toolset? A mindset? A leadership system?  Principles?  Daniel Jones suggests it's helpful to think of Lean as a Path of Discovery.

10 Traits of Highly Agile Companies. These line up well to the timeless principles of the Shingo Model – which still remains the best framework for operational excellence in my opinion.

For IT leaders:  3 ways to enable continuous improvement.


Leading & Enabling Excellence

“As much as I want to care about my people, we're running a business here. I'm accountable to deliver results.”  What's more important in a leader, empathy or holding people accountable? They aren't mutually exclusive and both are required to achieve excellence.  The Great Mistake Leaders Make About Empathy and Accountability


Coaching – Developing Self & Others

The Coach: How to be a Generous Leader

Coaching is ubiquitous in the corporate world, but does anyone measure it's effectiveness?  Not often.  Perhaps the Kirkpatrick model is a good starting point. Read more in Managing and Measuring Coaching in the New Normal.


Books, Podcasts, Videos

Books I'm currently reading:

I'm about to dive into Work: A Deep History, from the Stone Age to the Age of Robots by James Suzman.

For those of you who use Goodreads and want to track what I read, check out my “currently reading” books.  


Podcasts I'm listening to:

I really enjoyed episode 115 of the Knowledge Project where Shane interviewed Danny Meyer about Hospitality and Humanity.  Many gems in this one.


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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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