Ryan McCormack’s Operational Excellence Mixtape: August 13, 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

Digital transformation in healthcare continues to accelerate and will mean shifts in how we deliver care. Five Principles for a Patient-Empowered Health Care Future.

You hear about nursing shortages in Canada, the US, and the UK, yet record numbers of nurses are enrolling and being trained.  Maybe there's a shortage of reasonable working conditions.  Nurses Deserve Better. So Do Their Patients.

Four Must-Haves for Innovating Patient Care

Transformation can't be done from the side of the desk or “on top” of regular duties.  Slack Is Needed If The Digital Transformation Of Healthcare Is To Succeed

Poorly designed EHRs have drawn caregivers away from the patient towards data entry.  Putting empathy front and center in healthcare requires advanced EHRs.

The advent of easy and cheap dashboarding tools has ensured that lazy leaders can absolve themselves of accountability by questioning the validity of existing dashboards or insisting on new dashboards as the primary problem and solution to any operational challenges.  I hope it's true that the Pandemic Accelerated the Decline of the Data Dashboard.  


Operational Excellence

Operational excellence programs and methods are subject to entropy and require energy to keep it from fizzling out.  How to Gain Traction in Your Continuous Improvement Journey

Lean construction and 3P are far more commonplace today as a means of reducing defects and costs, but construction overruns remain stubbornly problematic.  Why It's Hard to Innovate in Construction.

Just in time supply chain practices should be centered on resilience and flexibility, rather than inventory reductions. Somehow, JIT principles deteriorated over time and became about the pursuit of eliminating inventory holding costs.   ‘Just in time' planning has to give way to ‘just in case'.

Continuous improvement can be neither continuous nor an improvement without feedback, which is why traditional project/implementation strategies rarely succeed in developing an improvement paradigm. Feedback loops are a prerequisite for Continuous Improvement

Innovation is about questions, dialogue, experimentation, and collaboration – which is impossible to do without people.  Teamwork- not tech – drives sustainable innovation

A serviceable summary of the lean startup method.

A reminder that transformation, digital or otherwise, is a process and not a project or destination.


Leading & Enabling Excellence

A clever literary history of the meeting from the Iliad, to King Lear, to Paradise Lost – Why Satan Should Chair Your Meetings.

Wisdom from Dan Markovitz.  Why having more meetings is not the answer.

Speaking of meetings, it is more commonplace for managers to have frequent one-on-ones with all their direct reports, and the hybrid work schedule threatens to make this more painful for employees and managers.  The Pain of the Never-Ending Work Check-In

Covid has exposed the value of leaders with humility, adaptiveness, and empathy.  Here's to hoping that trend continues and that Covid-19 is shaping new leadership traits.

Digital transformation requires a change in how one operates and a change in how one manages. The unintended consequences of digital transformation


Coaching – Developing Self & Others

Many of us love lists.  Especially to-do lists, where we get the satisfaction of checking things off as they get done.  But things often fall apart when prioritizing a backlog and we start kicking important tasks down the road in favour of easy or fun tasks..  Try to Keep a Shrug List

Why It's Time to Stop Saying “Work is My Life”


Books, Podcasts, Videos

Books I'm currently reading:

Still getting through Work: A Deep History, from the Stone Age to the Age of Robots  But I'm loving it so far.

I'm getting through my backlog of books this summer and am looking for suggestions.  Let me know what you recommend by posting a comment on this post.


Podcasts I'm listening to:

The science of the best way to clean your clothes. Listen to Laundry Done Right on Revisionist History

Podcast, The Lens – 34. Putting Lean Thinking to Use in Vaccine Clinics and Lessons Learned


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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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