Ryan McCormack’s Operational Excellence Mixtape: October 22, 2021


Thanks as always to Ryan McCormack 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

Nursing shortages aren't a North American problem.  It's a global one. The WHO is ringing the alarm on working conditions, compensation, and scope of practice. Who will hear it in time?  What is the cure for the global healthcare worker shortage?

A great summary call-to-action from the Brookings Institute on using digital health to improve health outcomes and equity

I was fortunate to visit Nemours Children's Hospital in Florida when it first opened.  A continuous improvement culture was developed Day 1 and continues more than 10 years later during times of great disruption.  Putting Patient Flow to the Test During Times of Uncertainty.

Machine learning and deep learning algorithms are becoming commonplace in diagnostic imaging, but when scanners and technology change, learning models “forget” how to predict and must be trained anew.  A new approach called “dynamic memory” is being used to alleviate this challenge of “catastrophic forgetting” in continual learning for diagnostic medical imaging.  This is a long way from watching radiologists rapidly read images off a lightbox (one of my first jobs in healthcare was to estimate image volumes capabilities for manually reading images). 

Operational Excellence

I remain a proponent of TWI Job Instruction as the gold standard in work instruction.  But when superior on the job coaching isn't feasible, digital work instructions perform better than the old binder on the shelf. It's time to retire your old job manuals and telling new hires to read it…. please.  

Alignment to purpose is a key principle of operational excellence – and also innovation.  Effective innovation begins with strategic direction.

Just-in-time (and thus Toyota) have been much maligned in the media during the Covid-era supply chain disruptions that continue.  But much can be learned from Toyota's holistic approach to supply chain to build back better post-Covid.  

As work becomes increasingly digital, I'm pleased to see operational excellence principles and practices being adopted in non-traditional domains.  How to Achieve Cloud Operational Excellence

Many experienced lean practitioners understand the links between lean operating principles and sustainability. McKinsey (yeh – I was surprised too) spells out this relationship in Industrial-resource productivity and the road to sustainability

Leading & Enabling Excellence

Here's an unfortunately predictable approach to “holding people accountable” when organizations and systems create conditions for catastrophic failures rather than a search for the truth.  Former Boeing executive indicted for fraud in 737 Max tragedy

Want to build a better world?  It will require some structural and fundamental changes in leadership.  Check out The New Leadership Playbook.  

The Great Resignation is the culmination of decades of shifting desires of the workforce.  Leaders take note.  The Real Meaning of Freedom at Work (paywalled). 

Coaching – Developing Self & Others

If you want to persuade others, you are far better off focusing on messages framed on potential gains rather than losses.  What My Brain Scan Revealed About the Science of Persuasion.

They say “practice makes permanent”.  Or is it “practice makes perfect”?  It's both.  On Iteration, and the Time Required to Complete Enough Iterative Cycles.

Books, Podcasts, Videos

Books I'm currently reading:

I pre-ordered The Business of Building a Better World: The Leadership Revolution That is Changing Everything.

Podcasts I'm listening to:

I'm enjoying the great tragic stories on business and leadership on WSJ's new podcast series Bad Bets.  The first episodes are about the rise and fall of Enron.  

Hear how Adam Grant got himself out of a rut by playing Mario Kart in How to stop languishing and start finding flow.

What does it mean to be a Kind Leader?  Listen to Karyn Ross on episode 427 of the LeanBlog podcast as she discussed her new book The Kind Leader: A Practical Guide to Eliminating Fear, Creating Trust, and Leading with Kindness

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Ryan McCormack
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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