Ryan McCormack’s Operational Excellence Mixtape: February 18, 2022


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

The healthcare system was in a precarious position prior to Covid.  The system effects related to the pandemic have erased any small gains that had been previously made in patient safety, staff retention, and system efficiency.  The pandemic has seen drops in patient safety related to central line infections, MRSA, and CAUTIs.  The nursing shortages are forecasted to reach unprecedented levels.   The backlog of delayed surgeries will take years to clear.   Not many systems are built to withstand 2 years of surge capacity, but one can't help but imagine whether greater resiliency, slack, and adaptability could've mitigated some of these devastating effects.

HBR offers 5 Ways to Restore Depleted Health Care Workers, but this list as a reminder to continually seek to design work to reduce administrative overburden and lead with respect during the best of times.

Reducing Emergency Room overcrowding by finding alternate settings to treat low-acuity patients has been an enduring obsession for improvement practitioners.  With the improvements in telemedicine and greater acceptance of virtual care, is it time to try virtual clinics?  A study shows that virtual clinic care for low-acuity emergency patients is vastly less costly, but is it effective?

Operational Excellence

There's still many that blame “lean” thinking for the supply chain crises.  Lean, ‘Just-in-Time' Management Didn't Cause the Supply Chain Crisis

5 problem solving mindsets to embrace.

PDCA from one of the most decorated coaches – Nick Saban on the Power of Process Thinking

Some seem to be calling for the end of Scrum.  This happens when tools and emthods are popularized to the point of complete dilution and abandonment of principles.   End of Scrum? Part II: Lean Thinking

We usually look to add in order to create value.  Add new features, more options.  DO more work.  Subtraction is often overlooked as the first place to add value.  When Subtraction Adds Value

Leading & Enabling Excellence

Deming famously said that “management is prediction”, yet many managers refrain from prediction because they are worried about being wrong.  Instead of worrying about being wrong focus on How to Be Less Wrong.   Similarly, managers are often uncomfortable with not having the answer.  Learn to lead and say “I don't know” with confidence.  

After You: Humility As A Core Leadership Skill

Coaching – Developing Self & Others

You know the type.  You're not sure what they actually do at the company, but everyone seems to know them.  Are you a Super-Connector?

“We were wrong”

Is the Secret to Happiness Having a Gratitude Practice?

Books, Podcasts, Videos

Books I'm reading:

Those of you who follow me know I love learning about history's lessons on massive failures of organizational leadership.  I recently ordered Flying Blind: the 737 MAX Tragedy and the Fall of Boeing.  Can't wait. 

Podcasts I'm listening to:

“I'd rather learn than be right”. Drama triangles, “full body yeses”, and more insightful discussions with Diana Chapman on ep130 of the Knowledge Project. Check it out!

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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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