Ryan McCormack’s Operational Excellence Mixtape: January 7, 2022

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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

For decades, Emergency departments have acted as the band-aid and catch-all for patients who can't access care elsewhere.  This has perpetuated a reactionary culture and a cycle of overburden.  It's time we start thinking about emergency care outside of the emergency department

The pandemic has highlighted the deep systemic issues with capacity and staffing that have long gone unchecked.  Here's to hoping that 2022 is the year of recovery and that our health systems start addressing longstanding challenges rather than go back to the way it's always been.  

5 predictions for how technology will transform healthcare in 2022 … and beyond


Operational Excellence

A new year often means a new round of setting goals and objectives.  There are myriad philosophies and methodologies on the best way to do this.  Many view incrementalism as the preferred path as in this advice to improve by 1% in 2022.   Some seek breakthrough objectives – here Jon Miller provides some advice on How to Think About Breakthrough Objectives.   Sahil Bloom provides a scientific approach in his Goal Setting Guide.   It's safe to say there's no one best way – the best thing to do is to start.  But before you do, Mark Graban reminds us not to start with a blank page simply because it's a new year.  

Embarking on a transformation in 2022?  McKinsey shares the science behind successful transformations.

Lean principles encourage leaders to go to the source to understand.  DoorDash announced a policy to have engineers and leaders make deliveries as a way of connecting them to the user experience.  I initially thought this to be a brilliant example of seeking to understand but this excellent critique of this policy by Laura Klein reminded me that this practice is not the same as learning from your staff or from your users firsthand.  

Thinking long term is a principle of sustainable excellence.  In an increasingly changing landscape, is there hope that tech companies shift from short-term problem-solving to long-term innovation in 2022?  Forrester thinks so.

Will 2022 be the year of the smart factory? Here are 5 predictions.

Process mining is becoming a more popular improvement tool, but it's not always clear how to use it to drive improvement.  Here are 8 steps to operational excellence using Process Mining.


Leading & Enabling Excellence

Covid has made the best laid plans of every CEO go awry, which has meant that leaders are learning to embrace uncertainty and throw away roadmaps to adapt.  

Disgraced former Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes was found guilty on 4 charges as part of her trial for defrauding investors.  This saga is a reminder of the dangers of the “fake it til you make it” mantra of leadership, and the devastating consequences of a leader's inability to accept failure

I'm sure we all resolve to be better next year.  How to Become a Better Manager in 2022

Want your leaders to speak up before making important decisions?  Try a pre-mortem.

Why It's So Hard to Keep and Recruit Employees Right Now


Coaching – Developing Self & Others

In 2021, I entered “Established Adulthood”, which can lead to a slowing down of abilities to learn, which I have no plans on accepting ;).  Here's an interesting article on How to Keep Learning At Every Stage of Life.  


Books, Podcasts, Videos

Books I'm reading:

My favourite 2021 released books were:

1. Think Again by Adam Grant.  Nurture and maintain curiosity. 

2. That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea by Marc Randolph.  Entertaining origin story of a service we all use.  

3. Excellence Now: Extreme Humanism by Tom Peters.  It's always about the people.

4. Work: A Deep History from the Stone Age to the Age of Robots by James Suzman.  Everything has changed, yet some things stay the same.  

5. The Great Mental Models Volume 3: Systems & Mathematics by Rhiannon Beaubien and Rosie Leizrowice.  Hone your critical thinking skills. 

Does Lean work in High-Variability Businesses?  I look forward to finding out more about how it does in Lean in a High-Variability Business by Dr. Eduardo Lander, Dr. Jeffrey Liker, and Tom Root.  This book details the lean journey of Zingerman's Mail Order food business, an operation I was fortunate enough to tour in 2012 in Ann Arbor MI, which I wrote about here.   I can't wait to read this.

Podcasts I'm listening to:

Burnout will continue to be a popular theme in 2022.  Jennifer Moss shares some great insights into How to Reduce Burnout on Coaching for Leaders episode 561.

Regular readers know that I'm obsessed with Farnam Street's podcast the Knowledge Project.  Check out the Knowledge Project: Best of 2021 for some amazing highlights of the mind-benders and leaders interviewed last year. 

TWI Job Instruction is one of the most powerful training methods for standardized work, yet remains greatly under-utilized.  Patrick Graupp & Martha Purrier talk about Getting to Standard Work in Healthcare (no small feat) on Connecting the Dots


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