Ryan McCormack’s Operational Excellence Mixtape: July 2, 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

The end is in sight for Covid, but it will have profound effects on population help for years to come.  Here's how to accelerate population health improvement

You don't often hear the term “eliminating defects” in a healthcare context, but here it is in Eliminating Defects in Behavioural Health Treatment

I was fortunate to have met Dr. Eric Dickson on a tour of UMass Memorial 5 years ago and was blown away by his leadership.  This feature on Dr. Dickson as Business Leader of the Year in the Worcester Business Journal serves as a reminder of what makes him a great healthcare leader.  

The Apple Watch is changing how healthcare data is collected.  


Operational Excellence

“When will all this change stop and we can just ‘do our job'?”.  Change fatigue is a common lamentation in the workforce.  The bad news: change continues to accelerate and become the norm.  Here's how to Drive Constant Innovation Into The Business Model Of The Future.  While the pace of innovation may feel like a new phenomenon, John Shook and others have been telling us that “improvement IS the work” for many decades, yet the mental model that improvement and innovation is ON TOP OF the work remains stubbornly present.  

The sight of the massive container ship The Ever Given wedged diagonally in the Suez Canal back in March captivated the world and disrupted supply chains across it.  Check out the excellent article Six Days in Suez: The Inside Story of the Ship That Broke Global Trade to understand the comedy of errors and factors that led to this dramatic event. 

With the proliferation of Excel, Powerpoint, and Dashboarding applications, graphical representation has never been easier.  But so is the ability to produce terrible visual displays of data.  Business people are often cavalier about poor displays of data but there are times When Graphs Are a Matter of Life and Death.  

Covid has forced Medical device and supply manufacturers to look at their supply chain management capabilities, specifically the ability to optimize inventory and scale-up to meet demand spikes. As a lean practitioner, I appreciate that this article reminds readers that “zero inventory” has never been the goal of lean or JIT.  How Rethinking Lean Will Strengthen Medical Device Manufacturers.  

Operational leaders often express frustration when bombarded with requests for resources to participate in change initiatives, especially when it is apparent the requests are not coordinated.  Similarly, those leading change get frustrated when competing change initiatives compete for these scarce resources, causing timelines to stretch.  How to Reduce the Risk of Colliding Change Initiatives.  

Lean leaders have often been leery of tech.  Fret not, there's No Reinvention Required: The Power of Lean and IIoT


Leading & Enabling Excellence

Those who come from environments where public humiliation and disrespect is tolerated or expected may find the idea of psychological safety “soft” or naive.  Heather Joslyn shares her experience in How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Psychological Safety

Speaking of psychological safety, many confuse it with “being nice”.  Not so.  What Psychological Safety is Not

Working for brilliant people has its challenges.  Liz Wiseman describes how genius leaders often turn into “diminishers” or bullies in Firsthand: The problem with genius bosses.  


Coaching – Developing Self & Others

A great summary of the coaching tools you need in your leadership toolbox.


Books, Podcasts, Videos

Books I'm currently reading:

I'm about to start diving into Tom Peters magnum opus Excellence Now: Extreme Humanism

I'm about halfway through Noise by Daniel Kahneman.  So far, it's a compelling indictment of how bad our judgments and intuitions really are.  

reviewed Matt Ridley's How Innovation Works on Linkedin.


Podcasts I'm listening to:

I quite enjoyed Malcolm Gladwell's adventure with Waymo and the future of autonomous vehicles in Revisionist History: I Love You Waymo


I love John Shook and the Connecting the Dots podcast, so it's no wonder I enjoyed the June 24th episode.


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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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