Ryan McCormack’s Operational Excellence Mixtape: December 3, 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

Healthcare workers want to help their patients, but the current work conditions are breaking even the toughest and most committed professionals.  Why Healthcare Workers Are Quitting in Droves.  

How a Hospital's Adoption of Lean Thinking Led to Standard-Setting Quality Achievements – even during a pandemic.  

The early days of electronic health records and technology systems for healthcare delivery focused on billing, metrics, and order entry.  Many of these systems added new burdens to busy clinicians.  It's about time the industry focuses on  Creating Care Delivery Technologies That Actually Solve Clinicians' Problems.

Operational Excellence

With lean, the magic tends to happen at organizations when it emerges and manifests itself as a set of principles and a management system, rather than a set of tools.  The Constructa Bolivar team in Colombia moved beyond projects with lean and are learning to see, think, and act differently.  

Similarly, if you want to accelerate your transformation, you have to embed new habits in the work.  3 Tactics to Accelerate Your Digital Transformation.

Quality Digest celebrates 40 years of publishing with an acknowledgment of the vast improvements and contributions of quality professionals over that time.  They also share a forgotten 1978 speech by Deming.  

Organizations are increasingly directing transformational efforts at their IT functions.  Similar to how manufacturers learned to build more flexible and responsive operating architectures, other businesses are discovering that designing your technology around monolithic software and tightly integrated infrastructure makes it difficult to be agile and to rapidly respond to changing trends and business needs.  It's Time to Get Rid of the IT Department (paywalled).

Leading & Enabling Excellence

What are the Biggest Mistakes Leaders Make Regarding Relationship Building?

Elizabeth Holmes is on the stand this week in the Theranos trial. When pressed, she reflects on many mistakes including, among others,  suppressing results and firing staff for raising concerns – a masterclass on how not to lead

On the other end of the spectrum, here are some CEOs that create success by caring for people.

Coaching – Developing Self & Others

Need a daily dose of coaching?  Check out The Daily Coach on Substack.  Consistently strong coaching perspectives published daily.

This is why you should have unrealistic expectations

Wisdom from James Clear.  3-2-1: Gratitude, courage, and how to get more of what you want in life.

Books, Podcasts, Videos

Books I'm reading:

Culture is becoming increasingly important to success.  I've pre-ordered Win From Within: Build Organizational Culture for Competitive Advantage by James Heskett.

Fact-based management and decision-making is a cornerstone of operational excellence, but there's much debate these days about what constitutes a ‘fact' and what is ‘knowledge'.   I went down the philosophical rabbit hole for a few months, beginning with the very accessible Knowledge: A Very Short Introduction by Jennifer Nagel.  

Podcasts I'm listening to:

NPR shares a succinct primer on Just in Time at Toyota with Toyota Camry, supply chain hero on The Indicator from Planet Money.

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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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