Ryan McCormack’s Operational Excellence Mixtape: October 8, 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

In my years spent in healthcare, the number one problem to be addressed was always emergency department overcrowding.  I think almost everything has been tried, but where I live there has been no real change.  I worked on many teams and committees meant to address this problem but failed to address many of the actual causes of emergency overcrowding – poor system incentives and insufficient acute care and mental health care capacity 


Operational Excellence

The shift to remote work has shown us all that group creativity need not require us all to get in a room, share some stale coffee, and write on Post-Its. Working from home and distributed workplaces can actually make generating ideas more effective.  Check out this Rotman article on  Creativity in the Age of Virtual Collaboration.  

You can't “Black-belt-project” your way to a culture of improvement.  Try these 3 Go-To Ways for Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement Anywhere

Heroic problem-solving is often celebrated, but problem-finding is often suppressed.  The magic of lean is in problem finding

Make your problem solving process visible using Continuous Improvement Storyboards

Machine learning is a very popular innovation and improvement approach these days.  Before being seduced by a new capability, here's a reminder that The First Rule of Machine Learning: Start Without Machine Learning


Leading & Enabling Excellence

I'm following with interest Elizabeth Holmes' trial for wire fraud.  Testimony is revealing a plethora of horrible leadership practices, including the risk of  taking “fake it til you make it” too far. 

A new book argues that companies need to reward humility and empathy–antidotes to the hubris and self-focus of excess power. But is that easier said than done? How Do We Make Sure the Right People End Up with Power in Organizations?


Coaching – Developing Self & Others

Don't Overcomplicate the Best Management Practice: Coaching


Books, Podcasts, Videos

Books I'm currently reading:

I just started my Fall reading list from the last mixtape, beginning with Testing Business Ideas: A Field Guide for Rapid Experimentation by David J. Bland. 


Podcasts I'm listening to:

Podcasts I'm listening to:

I love Walter Isascson's biographies of Steve Jobs and Leonardo Da Vinci (check out my article about “Lean”ardo I wrote after reading his biography) , so it's no surprise I loved his appearance on the Knowledge Project ep 121: Walter Isaacson: Curiosity Fuels Creativity

The more I reflect on my career in transformation, the more I realize the folly of scaling and the more I appreciate the rigor and results in transforming micro-systems and micro-cultures.  Dr, Marjorie shares her insights from 25 years of improving clinical micro-systems on Connecting the Dots.


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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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