Lean Coaching for Lean Coaches: Sam Morgan Helps Mark Graban

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My guest for Episode #503 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is Sam Morgan of Illuminate Coaching + Consulting. He was previously a guest in Episode #457.

Today's episode was originally live-streamed on April 9th… Sam's been doing a livestream series on “Lean Coaching for Lean Coaches.” So, in today's episode, you'll hear Sam coaching me… and then we'll have a broader conversation about the work that he's doing. We can all use a coach!

We embark on a deep dive into creating and harnessing a culture of continuous improvement and Lean in various industries, especially within the healthcare sector. The episode unfolds the role of Lean coaching and the evolution of continuous improvement to meet the current business dynamics.

Mark and Sam engage in a discussion on the intersection of psychological safety and effective continuous improvement. They discuss how creating an environment that facilitates incident reporting without fear of reprisal can lead to reduced adverse events, particularly in high-stakes industries like healthcare. This conversation serves as a guide for leaders to understand the importance of building a culture where openness is promoted, and trust leads to real-world enhancements.

Questions, Notes, and Highlights:

  • Going full time – leaving The Standard?
  • Entrepreneurial experiments?
  • People being coached in live format… and people watching?

The podcast is brought to you by Stiles Associates, the premier executive search firm specializing in the placement of Lean Transformation executives. With a track record of success spanning over 30 years, it's been the trusted partner for the manufacturing, private equity, and healthcare sectors. Learn more.

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Episode Summary and Article

Harnessing Continuous Improvement and Lean in Today's Dynamic Business Environment

Continuous improvement and lean methodologies have been foundational elements in driving efficiency and effectiveness across various industries. These strategies, deeply rooted in manufacturing, have transcended into other sectors, including healthcare, where they significantly impact patient care and employee engagement. Authors, speakers, and consultants in the lean field have been pivotal in propagating these principles, demonstrating measurable success for organizations willing to embrace change and strive for excellence.

The Evolution of Continuous Improvement and the Role of Lean Coaches

Continuous improvement is not a static concept but an evolving practice that adapts to current business climates and challenges. This process includes regular reflection on methods and outcomes, necessitating the support of experienced lean coaches. These professionals not only provide guidance but also create environments fostering psychological safety, ensuring that employees feel secure to identify issues and propose solutions without fear of reprimand.

A crucial aspect of this evolutionary process is the dissemination of knowledge through various channels, including blogs, books, podcasts, and interactive sessions that offer insights into the journey of continuous improvement. Such mediums serve as platforms for thought leaders to share their experiences, learn from one another, and challenge each other to innovate and apply lean methodologies in novel ways.

The Intersection of Psychological Safety and Effective Continuous Improvement

The efficacy of lean practices is heavily reliant on an organization's psychological safety level. In industries like healthcare, the stakes are considerably high as patient well-being hangs in the balance. Here, the fostering of an environment where employees feel free to report incidents can lead to a significant decrease in actual adverse events. Measurable success in lean initiatives is more than just the number of ideas implemented; it's about building a culture where openness and trust lead to real-world improvements and enhanced engagement.

As experts and entrepreneurs in the lean domain, it is vital to recognize the impact of psychological safety on continuous improvement efforts. Ensuring that staff are comfortable reporting incidents is just as important as the resulting corrective measures put in place. It encourages a shift from a culture of silence to one of proactive problem-solving, where employees at all levels are empowered to drive change and contribute to the organization's broad objectives significantly.

Pioneering Change and Measuring Success in Lean Initiatives

Real success in lean initiatives often manifests in organizational transformation, seen through increased employee engagement, higher incident reporting, and ultimately, lower rates of harm and error. The journey involves inspiring leaders and creating better workplaces across various industries. This extends beyond healthcare to include any sector where efficiency, problem-solving, and employee morale are top priorities.

The commitment to continuous improvement also requires recognizing and leveraging trends without falling prey to transient fads that lack substance. For true advancement to occur, it is essential to set clear, concrete objectives and map out strategic initiatives with a focus on both psychological safety and the practical application of lean methodologies. By doing so, lean practitioners can steer their organizations toward a future where continuous improvement is not just an ideology but a tangible reality that drives superior performance and meaningful change.

Leveraging Broader Audiences and Expanding Reach

The Power of Authorship and Diversified Focus

The ability to pivot and adapt one's business strategy is crucial, as exemplified by the shift from writing solely healthcare management books to a broader management context, aiming to reach a wider audience across various industries. Publishing a work that encapsulates the essence of creating a culture of learning and innovation can have far-reaching implications. This pivot not only opens up opportunities across different sectors for engagement but also solidifies one's authority as a thought leader.

The Mistakes That Make Us and Measures of Success are not just books; they are vehicles for change. They represent a body of knowledge that transcends industry boundaries, providing pathways for leaders to engage in deeper conversations about improvement methodologies regardless of their industry. This diversification effort is key to attracting new clients who are seeking to revolutionize their operational frameworks.

Strategic Networking and Intentional Outreach

In today's dynamic market, leveraging one's existing network and actively seeking out new connections is paramount to business growth. Rather than passively waiting for opportunities, it's essential to embrace proactive networking tactics such as personalized outreach through LinkedIn and direct email communication. These strategies can lead to reconnections, referrals, and, ultimately, collaborative business opportunities.

Engaging with past clients and seeking introductions to new prospects as well as creating ad campaigns targeted at new audiences can significantly advance professional opportunities. By fostering these relationships, it's possible to identify and address the unique needs and challenges of different organizations and explore potential collaborations that are beneficial for both parties involved.

Assessing and Adapting One's Online Presence

The importance of a well-crafted online presence cannot be overstated. A professional's website is often the first point of contact for potential clients, acting as a representation of their expertise and offerings. Ensuring that the website communicates the right message, offers an impactful first impression, and contains a clear call to action is vital. It is a space wholly under one's control and serves as a powerful tool for attracting and engaging potential clients.

Considering actionable feedback from peers and potential clients about the website can lead to significant enhancements. An experiment could include assessing the efficacy of different webpage designs or messaging through A/B testing, with the goal of optimizing the user's experience and making it compelling for them to engage in further conversation.

Continuous Improvement as Personal and Business Philosophy

Reflecting the very principles that lean methodologies teach, adopting a mindset of continuous improvement in one's business practices ensures forward movement. By constantly evaluating strategies such as outreach, branding, and service offerings, one can identify areas of waste and experiment with countermeasures that drive growth and add value.

Experimentation is at the core of such a philosophy, and setting specific, measurable goals for these experiments can lead to meaningful change. By reviewing metrics such as website engagement or response rates to outreach efforts, one can adjust tactics accordingly to maximize effectiveness and drive desired business outcomes.

Revolutionizing Lean Practice with Experiential Learning

Embracing the Role of a Lean Practitioner

Lean practitioners often find themselves entrenched in theory, imparting frameworks, and tools onto others while neglecting their personal practice. By actively engaging in the methodologies they teach, lean practitioners can dismantle the barriers between preaching and practicing. This experiential learning can nurture their professional growth and enable them to offer genuine, empathetic guidance, drawing from their own journeys of discovery and improvement.

The Transformative Power of Storytelling

Sharing stories is an integral part of the human experience, and when it comes to lean coaching, the stories we tell ourselves can either limit our potential or propel us forward. As coaches, encouraging clients to rewrite the limiting narratives in their minds can lead to breakthroughs in self-perception and action. A coach's role can extend to helping clients see beyond the ‘just' labels they assign themselves, fostering a sense of worth and capability.

Accountability and Support Networks

Lean coaching extends beyond the scope of mere methodological instruction–it's about shaping mindsets and affecting change at a foundational level. Creating communities, challenges, and spaces for lean practitioners to come together supports accountability and the sharing of challenges and triumphs. A community can reveal that struggles are universal, dispelling the isolation often felt by individuals in their journey.

Experimentation as a Catalyst for Growth

The encouragement of micro-experiments allows for immediate application of lean concepts. These experiments serve as stepping stones toward changing thought patterns and creating new, more positive and productive narratives. The commitment to small, actionable steps demonstrates how continuous improvement practices can be woven into the fabric of our daily lives, transforming our approach to problem-solving and decision-making.

Reflecting on and Sharing Outcomes

In a continuous feedback loop, coaches and practitioners alike must regularly assess and share the outcomes of their experiments. This transparency about what works, what doesn't, and the lessons learned galvanizes the lean community, promotes collective growth, and positions the coach not just as an advisor but as a co-learner.

Coaching for Coaches: Fostering Skillful Reflection

The concept of ‘coaching the coaches' amplifies the depth and breadth of lean practice. It holds a mirror up for coaches to introspect on their effectiveness, resonating with the idea that teaching is the best form of learning. Offering coaching for coaches not only helps them refine their skills but also invigorates their approach with fresh perspectives and a renewed commitment to serving their clients.

The Intersection of Lean and Life

Ultimately, the principles of lean coaching can extend into personal domains, aiding individuals in facing life challenges with a problem-solving mindset. Just as businesses seek efficiency and value, individuals can pursue a life of intentionality and impact. In this confluence of professional and personal growth, the lean philosophy becomes more than a set of tools–it becomes a way of life.

Call to Action: The Next Steps in Your Lean Journey

The invitation stands for each lean practitioner and coach to step into a space of vulnerability and discovery. Consider what narratives you've held onto that may require a transformation. Engage with your community, seek opportunities for collaboration, and embrace the practice of lean in ways that are authentic to your experience. As you venture forth, remember that each step, each experiment, each story rewritten, contributes to the vast and enriching landscape of lean practice.

Embracing Vulnerability in Coaching Conversations

In lean coaching, vulnerability serves as a powerful tool for connection and growth. By showing a willingness to engage in public forums, coaches and coachees alike set an example for the broader community. The act of sharing one's journey, with its inherent successes and stumbling blocks, not only aids the individual but also inspires others to embark on their own paths of self-improvement.

Cultivating Control Through Mindful Experimentation

Taking charge of what lies within one's control is a fundamental lean concept. In doing so, practitioners are tasked to pinpoint actionable items within their scope–be it in their professional or personal lives. Identifying factors within one's control and designing small experiments to influence them can yield significant insights into how to navigate larger challenges.

Nurturing an Open Attitude for Growth

For a lean coach, maintaining an open attitude is essential for both personal and professional growth. This openness is not simply about embracing new ideas; it's about actively seeking them out. Whether through engaging in dialogue with a mentor or critically evaluating their own coaching techniques, an open attitude allows lean practitioners to continually evolve their practice.

The Role of Digital Platforms in Lean Learning

Taking advantage of the ubiquity of digital platforms can enhance the reach and effectiveness of lean coaching. Whether it be through LinkedIn, podcasting, YouTube, or other social media, these digital spaces provide an opportunity for practitioners to connect, collaborate, and share their experiences. Incorporating these platforms into one's learning journey helps to break down barriers of distance and time, fostering an interconnected community of lean thinkers.

Direct Messaging: A Gateway to Personalized Coaching

The convenience of direct messaging on platforms like LinkedIn has opened up new avenues for personal and prompt interaction. Coaches like Sam Morgan, who are available for direct messaging, illustrate a commitment to accessibility and engagement in real-time conversations. This level of availability ensures that support and advice are just a message away, providing lean practitioners a more immediate connection to guidance and mentorship.

A Reminder to Document the Journey

The importance of documentation in lean practice cannot be overstated, and Mark Graban's example of jotting down insights on note cards underscores the value of capturing thoughts and plans. Documenting the steps of one's lean journey–whether through handwritten notes, digital archives, or public story-sharing–helps solidify learning, measures progress, and can serve as encouragement to others on similar pathways.


Automated Transcript (Not Guaranteed to be Defect Free)

Mark Graban:
And it says, we are live. Sam Morgan. How you doing?

Sam Morgan:
Mark Graban. I am doing good, yeah, we're just gonna hop right into it, kind of share. I think this is kind of a fun experiment where both, we both have ways and means, we share in conversation around continuous improvement and lean, of course, Mark, with my favorite mistake and the Lean blog, where this will be placed, as well as for me every Tuesday and Thursday doing lean coaching for lean coaches. So this is just kind of collaborative experience that's been in the works for maybe a month or two now that we've had a conversation about. So I'm really excited to it.

Sam Morgan:
Like actually, like, actually come into reality and just see where this experiment goes. What do you, what do you think and expect here, Mark?

Mark Graban:
Yeah, well, first off, I'll do the formality because this, again, like Sam said, will be an episode of the podcast. So I'll say, welcome to this live stream and recording of the Lean Blog interviews podcast. I've done this a couple of times before, and Sam has done a lot of live streaming. I've done some experiments with that. So normally I would be recording an episode offline.

Mark Graban:
Sam and I had talked about that possibility, but today we're going to be live streaming it and we have a couple of different parts here. Sam's going to kind of take the lead for a while, which he'll explain, and then I'll go into the more traditional lean blog interviews podcast mode. So again, joined here by Sam Morgan, I'll introduce myself briefly, and Sam, I'll invite you to do the same. My name is Mark Graban. If you have not listened to or watched to my podcast, I've been doing this podcast since 2006.

Mark Graban:
Recently started surpassed 500 episodes of the podcast. I would describe myself as an author and speaker and consultant and podcaster and entrepreneur. I have a role with the company, KaiNexus software company, happy to wear their shirt. And I have my own business where I do the other things that I mentioned. So that's me.

Mark Graban:
Sam, why don't you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

Sam Morgan:
Well, I'm just excited to share the space with you, Mark. This is just like this. Always fun to be here. So again, thanks for this space, to have this conversation and to open yourself up to this kind of format that's different than what you normally do. I think that's in the spirit of what we all talk about, is lean, continuous, improved practitioners is experimenting, and I'm looking forward to diving in more into that conversation.

Sam Morgan:
Around that, for me, I'm a lean coach, first and foremost, for lean coaches and consultants, those who are especially feeling stuck where they're at right now, especially those who are looking to launch their business, just don't know where to start, or they're feeling some kind of way about where they're at right now, and they just don't know how to move forward. That's what I hear all the time, is people have that desire, but they just feel stuck and all alone. And so I'm here to help you be by your side and help you move forward, get some clarity. And especially, too, for those other leaders, I have folks that I help and support who are founders, as well as they're wanting to grow in their skills and mindset to move forward and practice this idea of experimentation, scientific thinking. So.

Sam Morgan:
But, hey, let's go at it. Are you ready, Mark? Shall we? Should we dive in? What else do we need to.

Mark Graban:
Yeah, well, it's just maybe one other piece of context here, Sam. Every Tuesday. Is that right? Does a live stream lean coaching for lean coaches session. And that's basically what we're going to be doing here, right?

Sam Morgan:
That's the idea. We thought, wouldn't it be fun if we took this idea instead of just talking about, hey, Sam, tell us about this. To me, that's kind of like, okay, all right, yeah, that's a little boring. Why don't we just do it? And then people get that feeling for that experience of what it's actually like and practice that.

Sam Morgan:
So that was the whole idea. And so I'm excited because I don't know where it's gonna go. Mark doesn't know where it's gonna go. This isn't like the WWE. We haven't pre-planned who the winner is or the outcome.

Sam Morgan:
We're just gonna see where this goes, and then we'll move in transition to those questions.

Mark Graban:
But, yeah, well, so we're gonna. We're gonna do it and demonstrate it and then talk about it and what Sam is doing and. Yeah, so that's gonna be kind of the two parts here. So, Sam, I'm going to hand the reins formally over to you. Your show.

Sam Morgan:
I love the rains. Yes, that's right. Unlike in my house, where we know where those reins are. But nevertheless, mark, what's on your mind today? What's been in your head lately around your journey?

Mark Graban:
Well, the journey has been going on. It'll be almost 14 years ago when I launched my company, and I was doing that at first half time. So I've been working my last full time job anywhere was with the Lean Enterprise Institute. I was with them full time for a year. And then after moving back away from Cambridge and Boston, yeah, I was still working with them half time, and I was working remotely on different projects.

Mark Graban:
And it was a chance to test the idea that I could have a sustainable business. And after that first year, kind of evaluating the experiment and all things considered, I went then 100% on my own, taking on also then at the time, middle of 2011, a part time role with KaiNexus. So I started there in 2011 and doing a lot of work, primarily in healthcare, I think is what I was known for, especially after lean hospitals. The book was published in 2008. The book did, I think, pretty well in the market.

Mark Graban:
More importantly, I think the book was helping people. People were reading it. It won a Shingo prize. That led to a lot of people reaching out to me. And so my marketing strategy was really, I think, what a lot of people would call inbound marketing or content marketing.

Mark Graban:
I'm blogging, I'm writing articles. There was the book, there's podcasts. It's easy for people to find me. And enough people would reach out and start that conversation then about what their needs were. Am I a good fit for them?

Mark Graban:
Not doing a lot of advertising, really, or certainly not cold calling or reaching out to people. And then sometimes I would partner with other consulting firms. And then COVID. March 2020, I was out with a healthcare client as part of a team. We figured that was going to be the last week on site for a little while.

Mark Graban:
Then I remember that Wednesday, NBA canceled this postponed the season, NCAA tournament was canceled, and ended up flying home that day instead of the end of the week, as I tended to do as a consultant. So that was disruptive. Yeah, I mean, it was 20, it was 23 months before I was back on site with a healthcare client, you know, so I was trying to do what I could, virtually and remotely. A lot of other consultants were in that same situation, of course, whether they were in healthcare or otherwise. But then even as we got out of pandemic mode and there was the opportunity to go and travel, I think a couple things I've faced as a business, me, myself, and I, Inc.

Mark Graban:
Is I think there's a number of ongoing trends and situations in healthcare. There's fewer people reaching out about opportunities and healthcare. It still happens, you know, I still love being able to work with an organization in healthcare, but even going back a little bit pre COVID, I've been trying to rediversify the work that I do I love healthcare. I've lost no passion for that. But I think one thing I've learned in almost 20 years of healthcare, there's almost always some financial crisis in american healthcare that creates challenges about bringing people in.

Mark Graban:
In. I started my career in manufacturing, and there's almost this catch 22. As much as you might want to explore, you fight like mad to be accepted by the healthcare people as a healthcare person. And there was a time, I think it was 2019, I had somebody reach out from a manufacturing company who wanted me to be a coach, and he knew, and I knew that that could be a good coaching relationship. I got to go walk the Gemba in their factory that made helicopter parts, and I felt like I was asking good questions.

Mark Graban:
I hadn't been in too many factories. But I think, look, I mean, it kind of comes back to you or lean questions and lean thought process is what it is. But then I think some other people at the company, they started interviewing other consultants, and there was a little bit of gentle feedback of like, well, some of them are concerned that you're not a manufacturing person, which is ironic. After healthcare, people would say, you're a manufacturing person.

Sam Morgan:
No. Yeah, right. Of course. Yeah.

Mark Graban:
So, anyway, I turned this into a long soliloquy. I'll leave it at that. I know as a coach, you want to ask questions, but those are some of the things that I've been thinking about over the last couple of years. Anyway.

Sam Morgan:
Yeah. What do you feel like is, what do you want to do when you grow up? Like, what do you want this to be? What would be, like, success be for you?

Mark Graban:
Yeah. I'm going to give a shout-out to my friend and book editor, Tom Ehrenfeld. I'm tempted to want to make a reference to the movie. This is Spinal Tap, which is my favorite film, and I think his favorite film. I'll try to leave that out of the conversation.

Mark Graban:
What do I want to do? It's not starting a rock band. I'm probably a little too old for that. I mean, look, it's not even a what do I want to be when I grow up? I turned 50 last year, so I would propose the question is, what do I want to do here in this last.

Mark Graban:
I have one more phase of my career. I have more career behind me at this point than I probably will have ahead of me. So, I mean, your question comes back to purpose. Like, I want to be helpful. Like, I have a lot of drive to try to help leaders, people in different industries around creating better workplaces that are better for everybody involved.

Mark Graban:
So in healthcare, that involves helping make things better for the patients and the nurses and doctors and surgeons and pharmacists and housekeeping staff and everybody in that hospital. But I think whether it's a software company, you know, I partner up with the leaders, the co founders of KaiNexus. We want that to be a great culture and a great environment. And so, you know, like the, what do I want to help people with? I think there's this intersection of the quote unquote lean work that I've done.

Mark Graban:
But then I think there's an evolution in some of the things I've been educated about and certified in and I think fit really closely, tightly together here around helping people understand and improve the level of psychological safety. Lean and continuous improvement doesn't work if people don't feel safe to speak up.

Sam Morgan:
That's right.

Mark Graban:
You can go through all the problems you could bring me in and we do problem solving training with, with people all day long for whoever knows how many a days. But that would all go to waste if people don't feel safe to point out problems. So I think a lot of that is the driving passion for whatever this, this next or last stage of my career is. I'm not trying to retire, but it'll happen. It'll probably happen.

Sam Morgan:
Breaking news, breaking news.

Mark Graban:
Mark is not retiring. Yeah, some people might say, okay, who cares?

Sam Morgan:
So I guess, how would you like, what does that look like? What does success look like for you with this? So you used a lot of terms that I might refer to as, you know, that have meaning and heart, like passion and purpose. I'm wondering, okay, so how can you know that that's actually happening? What are you going to be seeing going on in your word that's going to tell you, oh, yeah, I am doing x.

Mark Graban:
I mean, I think it would be a longer list of organizations that would reflect and say, we're unstuck now when it comes to employee engagement, continuous improvement, kind of like you're trying to help people like me or others get unstuck professionally, you know, I would love for there to be more of a movement. I guess I'll say the word movement like, there's always risk. Like, you know, if these concepts around psychological safety get trendy, sort of like at different points in time, lean healthcare or lean manufacturing is trying. I think doing something because it's trendy is the worst reason to do something. But I think when leaders are trying to figure out how do we get unstuck?

Mark Graban:
We can't just tell people to speak up. We can't just tell them, hey, it's safe. Now. There are things leaders can do to help people, employees, frontline staff, make their own decision that it's safe enough. Yeah, safe enough to speak up and effective.

Mark Graban:
Right. So that's the other thing. If it's just safe, but we don't know how to solve problems, people will stop speaking up about problems for reasons other than fear.

Sam Morgan:
Yeah. So you talked about you would get feedback from your. I don't just use the word like ideal customers or people that you're working with and supporting that are telling you it's had an impact on you. Can you say more about that? I just want to create a picture in your mind because I think we all do this, even as lean practitioners, we kind of make it squishy and then it's easier to say, easier to not move forward or easier to try something or not try something.

Sam Morgan:
So I'm just wanting to get as much concrete as we can right now for you on what this looks like. What kinds of things specifically would you be seeing that's going to tell you, okay, this is actually having impact or doing what I want it to do.

Mark Graban:
Yeah, I mean, I think the ROI return on investment of an engagement would be a little squishy. Now I'm going to try to, I'm going to get away from squishiness here. A simple ROI calculation would be difficult or problematic or hard to prove, but in terms of measurable impact, things that I would want to see, and I have seen with past clients going back more than a decade is countable. The number of employee ideas implemented, and I'm not counting the number submitted. Right.

Mark Graban:
The number implemented, tested, evaluated in a plan, do study, adjust cycle. The number implemented should be very close to the number suggested.

Sam Morgan:
Okay.

Mark Graban:
Yeah, but we can see increases in that. We could see relatively hard measures around the impact of ideas without demanding every idea have a particular ROI. Part of the employee engagement process and cycle is letting people work on things that matter to them and not have this unreasonably high ROI threshold. If you get more and more people participating, they will stumble across ideas with surprisingly big impact, which is a different vein than looking for big impact. Unintuitive, maybe catch 22 there.

Mark Graban:
So those would be a couple of measures. I think in healthcare we would see other measures in increase in what an organization might call incident reports. That's not an increase in incidents. But now we're closing that gap. In a lot of organizations, let's say traditional suggestion box.

Mark Graban:
There might be a huge gap between suggestions collected and suggestions approved and implemented.

Sam Morgan:
Right.

Mark Graban:
That's usually a 50 to one gap. Now, sadly, let's say in a healthcare organization, if people are either fearful of speaking up or they think it's futile, the number of reported incidents might be here. The number of actual incidents and near misses and things that could harm patients might be up here. So this is the psychological safety piece. You can't solve a problem that you're not aware of.

Sam Morgan:
Right.

Mark Graban:
And I've seen organizations where, as you cultivate psychological safety, the number of reported incidents is increasing and the number of actual incidents is probably coming down.

Sam Morgan:
Right.

Mark Graban:
And then it's kind of a meeting because now if you're taking those reported incidents or near misses enabled by a better sense of psychological safety, now combining it with problem solving, the number of incidents should then start going down and the rate of harm to patients will start going down. And I've seen organizations where those charts line up beautifully. Increase in reported incidents, decrease in measurable harm to patients. That's the type of thing I'm passionate about in terms of seeing that measurable impact, not measuring. It's not a primary measurable.

Mark Graban:
How many people did you train? And I'm not big on certifying people, but how many people did you certify? We need impact beyond that.

Sam Morgan:
Well, it seems that you've got pretty clear picture of that. So you shared at the beginning where you're at on your journey right now. Maybe just real quickly, you know, where. And I, this is probably, this is the worst. Don't, don't do this if you're a coach.

Sam Morgan:
I'm going to put two questions in one just for the sake of time.

Mark Graban:
So also don't do that as a podcast interviewer. And I think this is by any, I may do that when we shift mode. Sam.

Sam Morgan:
Yeah. So just maybe in like 90 seconds, where are you at right now in relation to where you want to get to? And then let's talk about what's getting in your way.

Mark Graban:
That's a good question. I mean, I think if I know for sure, I would start trying to get those things in the way, out of the way. But, you know, I think I've struggled to really get my business back to where it had been pre-pandemic. I mean, I think I've done some productive things. My most recent book, I mentioned the first book, here's the most recent book, The Mistakes That Make Us, cultivating a culture of learning and innovation that kind of touches on some of these things.

Mark Graban:
I've already been talking about. This is a book similar, same idea as my last book, Measures of Success. I didn't write it as a healthcare book. There's applicability to healthcare, but I would describe it as a management book. So that's one, I think, concrete thing I've tried to do to try to broaden out.

Mark Graban:
I'm not writing healthcare management books anymore. You know, I mean, I'm not saying never, but I've sort of broadened the focus of what I'm writing, which my hypothesis would be, well, that broadens the reach of people from potential industries who could reach out. And this is starting to happen where, you know, a leader reads the book and they have others read the book, and now they want to have a deeper conversation about that, some of this happening. But the book's been out for nine months now. And so I'm still trying to build a bigger audience for the book and hoping some of that flows through into opportunities for me to serve as a coach, trainer, consultant, speaker, whatever label and bit of work or stretch of work meets the customer's need and challenge.

Mark Graban:
So that's one thing that I've been trying to do. And then I think, just, look, I'm going to do a little bit more to be a little more intentional about outreach and not just waiting for people to email me or send a LinkedIn message or fill out a form on my website. I mean, I do have a big network, and so I've been running some experience of experiments of reaching out to people in my network, sharing some of the things I've been doing recently that went really well at an organization and saying, well, hey, would you like to connect and just catch up, or is there a similar opportunity? Let's say a lot of healthcare organizations do a quarterly leadership event.

Sam Morgan:
Yep.

Mark Graban:
Well, I got to do this. With the health system in northern Kentucky, are these topics potentially not just of interest, but beneficial to your team? Is there a similar opportunity for me to come in and do a similar type of program, hopefully with a similar type of impact? So I'm doing more reach out. I can't just sit back and wait for referrals or contacts coming in based on people finding me.

Mark Graban:
Sometimes I need to go reengage with, with people who are in my LinkedIn network. And then another phase might try to figure out, be to figure out some sort of ad campaign to reach people who I don't know or I'm not connected with, and even asking and reaching out to people, even if they don't have a particular need. Do they know somebody in their network who might have that need? And I really try to frame it around the needs in the situation. It's not.

Mark Graban:
Here's what I do. Do you want that?

Sam Morgan:
Right. Right.

Mark Graban:
Trying to frame the things I can do as a countermeasure to help them with situations or problems they have.

Sam Morgan:
So what do you feel is, so you want to make this, this impact. Right. You named what success looks like and these tangible ways of getting feedback from organizations is said. You help get them unstuck and you're seeing, you know, the suggestions being accepted and implemented and then the incident reported cases, you know, getting reported and coming down. So we've got these clear pictures.

Sam Morgan:
You're doing some of these things now. So what's, what's in your way? What's keeping you, like, from getting to this place that you want to be that you're not?

Mark Graban:
I mean, I think it's a couple of things. One, and I've talked to a lot of other healthcare consultants, either kind of, you know, solo practitioners like me or people in other firms. I'm not, I think any of the situation or these industry challenges are nothing for me to take personally. Right. I remind myself that, or try to say, hey, don't take it personally.

Sam Morgan:
Yeah.

Mark Graban:
You know, there's, you know, financial challenges. Margins are tight. Yep. Financial or uncertainty is there, I think especially in american healthcare. And if times are tight, there's still a challenge of a, I think a cost cutting habit in healthcare, for sure.

Mark Graban:
And some organizations, like even during the pandemic or after, have leaned in, if you will, or doubled down on lean and process improvement, their lean management system, this is how they're going to help get out of that situation. And then other organizations, I think, fall back into the cost cutting habit and they lay off their internal team of lean or process excellence or whatever label they give to it, and then they'll say, well, if we're laid people off, we're not going to bring in some outsider or, you know, I think a catch 22 of, I think organizations that have the biggest financial pressures is the best opportunity for them to do this internally or get some outside help. But then there's that question of like, well, maybe that would, maybe that lines up in the long term, but we got these short term pressures. We got to hit our budget. We got to hit our margin goal for the year.

Mark Graban:
I would love to help people with that challenge. What are the causes of the margin pressure? What are the causes that are in your scope of control? If not scope of influence. You can't go and address broad economic factors or political risk.

Mark Graban:
But okay, there are things we could do to reduce waste and become an employer of choice. Or if we're a health system, become a health system of choice by providing a great experience, not just a waste free experience, but so, I mean, those are some of the things. And yeah, use maybe slightly different language if it was people outside of healthcare. See, I keep gravitating back to healthcare scenarios, healthcare language. And see, maybe that's where people say, hey, you're a healthcare guy.

Mark Graban:
How are you going to help our startup software company or our mid sized manufacturer? So I don't know if I'm, I think back again, what do I have control over?

Sam Morgan:
That's right.

Mark Graban:
Am I still paying painting a picture of being, or wanting to be, quote unquote, a healthcare person?

Sam Morgan:
Well, I think you've named that the people you want to help have this challenge with, maybe reflecting on what's in the scope of my control and taking action to do it. And I'm wondering for you, what's in your scope of control, right. Because we can talk about the financial state with healthcare and just the economy in general, but for you, what's in your scope of control that's getting in your way that you can try some small experiment with to see how that affects things?

Mark Graban:
I think there's a number of things. Take a fresh look at my website, markgraven.com, and take a fresh look. And I'm trying to work on some of this a little bit around the first impression. The messaging, the deeper messaging. There's an opportunity.

Mark Graban:
I have control. I have 100% control over what is on that website. I have 100% control over the themes and topics that I choose to write about and to some extent podcast about. And I don't think I could go back and look at the data. I don't think a lot of what I'm writing about on my blog or in healthcare is vast majority healthcare focused.

Mark Graban:
You know, I've been writing a lot about, you know, culture issues, process issues, leadership issues in different settings, different industries. So I'm trying to take control about that. And then I think the other thing I do have control over is being more intentional about getting better at the outreach.

Sam Morgan:
Yep.

Mark Graban:
Again, to people who are already in my network, people I worked with a while ago, where there might be an opportunity to reconnect and work again, or, you know, ask them for an introduction or a referral, or again, as I mentioned, like maybe to do more of an experiment with a LinkedIn ad campaign that's getting outside of my network.

Sam Morgan:
So you mentioned your website, your blog reaching out and LinkedIn. So there's four things I'm wondering. Can you isolate one of those areas and one specific action that you're going to take or an experiment that you're going to take that's going to help you? Like you're going to try? You don't know the answer too, right?

Sam Morgan:
That's what an experiment is. What's the experiment you're going to take to help you move just a little bit forward towards where you want to get to?

Mark Graban:
I think there's one is a continuation of the experiment around outreach and thinking of, I've planned and I've done and I'm doing, and now there'll be an opportunity to study and potentially adjust. There's a couple different variables around who I'm choosing to reach out to or connected on LinkedIn. Do I reach out via a LinkedIn message or. Some people are never on LinkedIn. A second sub experiment is to use email contact info that I have and send an email instead of a LinkedIn message.

Mark Graban:
And as I think this through, my hypothesis would be emails are probably more likely to be read than a LinkedIn message. Okay, so that's another thing to consider. There's the messaging of the outreach, and then there's the follow up of the outreach. So from a fairly limited experiment of reaching out, you know, I've had four kind of reconnects that are going to lead to a meeting with that person and or some other people at their organization. I think for a couple of those people, it might end up being, well, it's a catch up.

Mark Graban:
We used to work together. That's great in and of itself. And then for some people, it's a little bit more of, okay, well, let's explore. Let's talk about the situation they're in. Let's talk about what countermeasures or services I could provide and then see, I mean, there's, I think this kind of natural, you think of a marketing funnel.

Sam Morgan:
Yeah.

Mark Graban:
Some percentage of outreach will lead to a reply and a connection, and then some percentage of those might lead to a meeting, and some percentage then leads to speaking, engagement, coaching, relationship, what have you. So I think I kind of start working backward to how many leads do I need to turn into the number of engagements that I would like to be doing and then, you know, hopefully be more highly selective in terms of finding that fit. So between their need and what I would like to do.

Sam Morgan:
Right.

Mark Graban:
It's got to be mutually beneficial. It's not all about me, but the situation and what have you. You know, the different things that would lead to this saying, yeah, this is a home run fit. I can't wait to do this work versus, well, this might be a fit. So let's try and see.

Mark Graban:
And I have some concerns about the weather.

Sam Morgan:
So, so if like, so you propose some different things, I want to make sure we hone in on one specific thing you'll do in the next. Let's just say 24 hours, one experiment that you'll do and everybody can can a spam mark with hashtag Mark's experiment or something like that.

Mark Graban:
I thought you're going to say people can think about their own experiments.

Sam Morgan:
Well, I mean, of course they can do that, but this is, we're trying to get you into this because I think we can all learn from this. My experience with lean folks is we can talk about a lot of these proposed things and then we don't do anything. So I'm wondering, what is it specifically that you're going to? What's the specific experiment you're going to try?

Mark Graban:
Well, I think beyond continuing, I think that first experiment is still in place. I think the next experiment is to take a fresh look at webpage again, like that first introduction. If what people see when the page first loads sort of is compelling, do they ever scroll down? Do they ever click on something? You know, there's probably an opportunity to take a fresh look at that, then look and consider some changes.

Mark Graban:
Then I have to think through, well, how would I evaluate the impact of those changes? Is it more people connecting to do an initial discovery call conversation? I'm happy to do and schedule, you know, for free and explore that situation. You know, I'm thinking about as I'm writing down here, it's not just the website language, but, you know, is there a clear, if you will, call to action that makes it easy, both compelling and easy to say, yeah, I do want to talk.

Sam Morgan:
And so what does that mean? I think Kristen offered an interesting suggestion here, but I want, and I want to hop into whatever portion you want to have with our conversation around this. But what specifically would it look like too, and I'm just saying this because you could say, I'm going to take a look. Okay, well, what is, take a look at my website. I could stare at the screen and read it, but how is that helping, right.

Sam Morgan:
What specifically are you going to do to be able to do what you just said?

Mark Graban:
Well, I mean, I can do my best, but I am not my own customer. Kristen's comment, I'm going to put it up on screen here. She shared it in the chat. Could you ask this group to take a look at your website, etcetera, and give you feedback about how you're doing around positioning and messaging and. Yeah, I mean, absolutely.

Sam Morgan:
Yeah.

Mark Graban:
It would be good to hear whether that's in the chat or afterwards or if they're watching live or eventually listening to the recording. Go to markgraven.com and I'll use that line. Feedback is a gift. There are things that I'm probably not noticing that could be improved. So I guess I would reach out to people.

Mark Graban:
If you're in the universe of potential clients, I would love to hear your feedback. I'm not going to try to turn that around on you as a sales pitch unless you're interested in having a conversation about sales pitch sounds so negative. I try to think of sales as a collaborative problem solving process together that's more palatable, I think, to engineers like me who don't want to be quote unquote salesy. There's nothing wrong with helping people and learning and collaborating. But thank you for that suggestion, Christian.

Sam Morgan:
That's really good, and I think that helps frame. So what do you expect from this experiment, Mark?

Mark Graban:
I would expect to make some changes or in the spirit of continuous improvement. I think the other thing to look at is within the WordPress platform. What opportunity is there to try to do some a b testing? That's not something I've ever directly tried. So that might be a sub experiment within the experiment of trying to improve some of the messaging and being more compelling to a call to action about, hey, how can we work together on something?

Sam Morgan:
How do you think this will feel for you as you're doing it?

Mark Graban:
I mean, it'll feel. I think it feels good to be in an active experimentation or problem solving mode instead of, that'll feel better than, you know, any, any moments where you feel stuck or stagnant or not able to reach those goals of doing things that are meaningful and helping others. And yeah, that'll feel good. And then hopefully feeling good about taking action will turn into back to that question of measurable progress for me as a business.

Sam Morgan:
Well, I'm excited to see how that goes. Let's all give Mark feedback. Go to markgrabin.com here in the next day. Once you either watch it or you're doing it live now. And let's give him that feedback so that he can move forward and continue on.

Sam Morgan:
Not that it's based on, you know, all the feedback, but to help him continue moving forward towards where he wants to get to, because I think, you know, we're a community. We all care about each other. We want each other to get better and improve. And I think this would be a really cool way to kind of connect this idea of like, scientific thinking, experimentation and community. Right.

Sam Morgan:
To help each other move forward. And let's give Mark that genuine, honest feedback so that he can help move forward. If you're seeing something like, hey, I wonder about this or that. Let's send that to Mark.

Mark Graban:
Why are you saying that? Why aren't you saying this? The website's going to be static over the next 24 hours. I had some friends, old friends of mine who came down from Michigan to Texas for the total eclipse yesterday. I'm going to be showing them around and we're going to be in tourist mode the rest of the day.

Mark Graban:
So I know you're intent, Sam, of asking, and it's a great question and the right way to frame it with the urgency of what's your next experiment in the next 24 hours? Honestly, it'll be what's your next experiment by the end of the week.

Sam Morgan:
Fair enough. Fair enough. Well, we're all, we're all looking forward to hearing, hearing that, how it goes, and most importantly, what you learn from it. Would you be up for sharing, you know, how that goes and what you learn with the community? For sure, that'd be great.

Sam Morgan:
Thanks, Mark, for putting yourself out there and sharing. And of course, folks, please drop in on the comments. What did you learn? What did you see? What did you think was like, I wonder about this or that.

Sam Morgan:
And of course, we can hop in and Mark, your. I'm happy to answer. I would love to hear, too, how you experience that as well now that we're outside that formal setting, so to speak.

Mark Graban:
All right, well, good. Well, thank you, Sam, for your questions and for your caring and talking through this. Is that our transition into. Okay, we're going to go into podcast mode and we have maybe 15 minutes here or so for me to ask you some questions about what you're doing. Lean coaching for lean coaches.

Sam Morgan:
Yeah, yeah. I'm all for it. This is, we're all experimenting here and this is just a fun conversation. So I'm all up for. I'm game for whatever comes up here.

Sam Morgan:
Yeah.

Mark Graban:
Yeah. So I like to ask about origin stories and you've been on my podcast before, so I'm not going to ask your Lean origin story, but I'll ask you about the origin story of the series and your focus on providing lean coaches to Lean. Lean coaching to lean coaches. Why start it? Tell us a little bit of the history of how that came to be.

Sam Morgan:
Yeah, I think like you, Mark, I have been on a journey to figure out who the people I like to support and best support are and the framework in which I do that. And last year, I was in a real experimenting mode. I, you know, I launched a community for lean practitioners. These people that I've been talking about that are stuck and need support, so created a community where people can come in, get support and accountability to move forward. I did a four day challenge where I invited those kind of people in for an hour a day to move forward and use this pattern of the improvement KatA a little bit each day to help them move forward.

Sam Morgan:
And then I started a newsletter to be able to continue to grow and communicate with those people that I seek to support. And then as I was doing in that mindset, I started thinking about back a few years ago when I was first starting on this journey, learning about the Kada, and I was like, man, it would be really cool to do live coaching with people that I want to support. I just like that format. I have a background in radio broadcasting and so I always loved telling stories and engaging with people. So at that point, I was like, man, daily coaching doesn't seem like something that would be online would be, would be a little bit challenging.

Sam Morgan:
But if I did something a couple times a week and just see where it, where it goes instead of hypothesizing about it, it was like, let's just do it. And so that's what I did.

Mark Graban:
Just experiment.

Sam Morgan:
Yeah, exactly. Just experiment. And so I remember the first experiment was I didn't have anybody lined up, my friend. It was somewhere around 06:30 a.m.. Pacific.

Sam Morgan:
07:00 was when I had said I was going live and I created the event and I was sitting there, oh, I don't have somebody. I was just kind of planning on, I'll send the, the streaming link to whoever. And I reached out to my friend Andres. I was like, hey, would you be up for joining? He's like, yes.

Sam Morgan:
So we hopped on to do a quick check, and of course, five minutes before his audio is not working. So, you know, that's like a little terrifying. And then I'm like, all right. So he's like, I'm going to hop off. So I get on, I launch the stream and he pops on and I'm like, hey, Andres.

Sam Morgan:
And he said, hey, sam. So we were off to the races, and so there it was, born. And just doing this whole of what we just did in, like, a 30 minutes chunk, just helping people get clear on where they want to get to and get, like, an actual step they can take to move forward. And it's been really fun to see people lean into that, and actually, it actually helps them, you know, actually does help them get clarity, and actually does. They do take a step, and it makes a difference, and it's really, really fun to see that impact.

Sam Morgan:
That all came from an experiment.

Mark Graban:
Yeah. How are you evaluating that experiment? What's success look like to you in that experiment? To decide. I'm not trying to be cute and throw up that.

Sam Morgan:
No, no, I love it.

Mark Graban:
I'm curious about, how do you evaluate this experiment, and what does success look like? Decide, do I keep going, or do I evolve and study and adjust or tweak it or pivot?

Sam Morgan:
That's. That's great. I. And I'd like to say I've got it, like, 100% intentional, and I've got, like, a run chart over here that I could show you. I don't.

Sam Morgan:
The question that I love to ask, and I think this is helping me bring clarity to it, is. And I think if I go back and I look, I think I've done something, like, close to 2015, to 20 of the live sessions now, and almost without fail, I'll ask, what was the most valuable part of this conversation with you? And so if they can clearly articulate some way of, like, okay, it helped me get clarity or help me do this or help me do that, I think then that is, like, a measure of success for me, that helped them. Ideally, in the end, it's helping people to continue to see me as a meaningful resource to help them get unstuck. And so, you know, the outcome measure, this is more of, I would say, like a lead a lag measure would be people reaching out or people, and it'd be hard to measure this, but seeing me as somebody that could actually help them, and then you can see that in a message that comes in, or if I reach out to them and, like, you know, they've come to one of my, you know, like those of you who are here, like, hey, saw that you came.

Sam Morgan:
Thanks so much. What did you find most interesting? And then there's an opportunity for a conversation, and then if that leads to a future, you know, support of them or their business and coaching, then that's. That's the outcome measure. Is you kind of were sharing in your scenario as well.

Mark Graban:
Yeah. Yeah. So welcome to no. It was called lean coaches for lean coach coaches.

Sam Morgan:
Lean coaching for lean coaches. Yeah. I think that's the third no.

Mark Graban:
In the cotton methodology, which I'm not expert in, they talk about the second coach, who's coaching the coach? And it does beg the question, who's coaching the coach? Who's coaching the coach?

Sam Morgan:
Yep.

Mark Graban:
I don't know if anyone ever has a third coach. I'm not trying to.

Sam Morgan:
I know it could go on ad infinitum.

Mark Graban:
But more serious question. I mean, as you've talked to different people, are there trends or patterns that you're seeing out there, Sam, that might be helpful for others to hear about the most common challenges, the most common barriers that you're hearing about?

Sam Morgan:
Yeah. I'd say one of the things that I hear from the folks that I support as clients and then people that come in, a couple different things I would say is that they're struggling to practice. Right. As lean coaches, we're out. We're providing frameworks and tools and thoughts to help them move forward, but folks are struggling to practice it for themselves.

Sam Morgan:
And this was in one of my experiments last year in the four day challenge, it surfaced as a pretty consistent pattern, and I continued to hear it is that I'm struggling, and I think I'm the only one. And so then there becomes this idea of, like, hiding. We don't share a full kind of self with the world, so that's one thing I would say. And then folks who. Either they don't have the clarity on where they're going, but they're.

Sam Morgan:
They're afraid because they don't know where to start or they don't feel like they have enough experience to start. So they're like, oh, I can't. I can't start my own business, or how could I say I can move into this position? I only have six years of this experience. Who's gonna.

Sam Morgan:
And so I hear people put those obstacles in their own way, those stories that they tell themselves, and I'm. I've done it myself even coming here. And I've got meetings coming up where I have to work to change my story. Who am I? Just the other night, and I have a coach right here within the four walls of my home.

Sam Morgan:
I'm very blessed. My wife is a master facilitator and conflict transformation consultant. And it was the other night we were laying in bed, as we often do, and have, having just, like, a recap on the day and I was downloading some, some challenges and I was just saying, you know, I'm so blessed to have you in my life. You know, you're this black belt, you're this consultant and entrepreneur. I'm just this short, goofy white guy.

Sam Morgan:
And she said, you're not just to me. And I was like, wow, as a.

Mark Graban:
Coach, she's like, well, for one, you are a goofy white guy, but. Right. Sorry to interrupt.

Sam Morgan:
No. And so that's the power. Like, as a coach, I hope to do that to other people and help them be able to see that they aren't just, they have something meaningful and valuable to offer. And how can we change the story that's going on in your head so that you can move out and actually be able to impact the world in the way you were intended? There's 7 billion people in the world, 1 billion people on LinkedIn, and there's so much suffering going on in the world.

Sam Morgan:
And if we don't get out of our own way, move out of our own stories, those people are going to continue to suffer. So we have to be the one to go first, be vulnerable and put ourselves out there. And that's what I've done over the past, like, 18 months. You know, I only. I just have seven or eight years of lean experience, you know, like, and also I'm getting the opportunity to coach cos and founders and, and entrepreneurs.

Sam Morgan:
And here I am in front with you, Mark, so we can continue to carry those stories. In fact, the other day, I had one from a couple years ago and I was in a group and I tore it up, burned it and flushed it down the toilet. Like, literally, it was a story I had held onto and I had written it down and I actually did that. And then later that night, my therapist helped me get a new story in my head that will help me continue to move forward and do, do more, reach more impact more people. That's what I hope for folks that are out there, and experimenting is a way to do that.

Sam Morgan:
It's a way to, like, I'm just going to try this little thing, and as I do that, it will help change things up here. I love the quote from the Toyota Kata practice guy, and I don't know who it is, but microther quotes, we don't think our way to a new way of thinking. We act our way to a new way of thinking. And so you may have this story in your head that you're just this, or I don't have enough of that. What you can do to change.

Sam Morgan:
That is to run a small experiment right now, today, to move you forward. And you do that, you know, every day for the next month, the next year, I promise you. I promise you this up here will change, and so will this right here.

Mark Graban:
Wow. I like the way you say that. And you're making me think of opportunities for lean coaches, myself included, to practice what we preach, you know, to think about, in no particular order, customer focus, make sure are we providing a solution or look, are we in a collaborative problem solving process looking for countermeasures and experiments? Now, I think there is a challenge I've tried to pitch a couple of times, not to turn back to lean coaching, but real quickly, I know I've been in a competitive situation where I was intentionally pitching. I do not come in with off the shelf solutions.

Mark Graban:
The process is a collaborative discovery and problem solving process, and I will help teach you problem solving as we practice problem solving together.

Sam Morgan:
That's right.

Mark Graban:
For the business, for the enterprise. Now, there's an opportunity to test for fit in a proposal like that, where I've had some of those proposals rejected and they probably chose somebody who felt like the more traditional consultant approach of like, I'm going to tell you what to do and I'm going to guarantee that it works. And like, oh, if life were only that easy.

Sam Morgan:
That's right.

Mark Graban:
But those are the opportunities to try to practice what we preach, but to try to do it in a way where the language, I don't know if the language of hypotheses and experiments and problem solving is off putting to some, you know, I don't need to be a fit with everybody. I heard a country music song. It was serendipity on the radio. Casey Musgraves. It's not a new song, but I'd never heard it.

Mark Graban:
And she sings a you can't be everybody's cup of tea. You can't be everything to everyone. So why not just do it your way? Or like, I mean, like, it was a sweet song and it was, I think, a good reminder, I'm not going to be everybody's cup of tea. Neither are you.

Mark Graban:
Neither is, you know, anybody watching, so. But, you know, I think practicing what we preach, trying to put these things to use as we start to wrap up here, you know, and I think what you bring up is, you know, the difference between coaching and therapy. I have seen a therapist. Sometimes you talk about business challenges and there's a role and a time and a place for that. I know by you calling yourself a coach, you're not pretending to be a therapist, and that's different.

Mark Graban:
But when it comes to internal obstacles that we create, sometimes a coach can be helpful. Sometimes that might require somebody who's more of that kind of trained counselor, therapist type role.

Sam Morgan:
Yeah. And I think there's a time and a place for that. I think more when you're dealing maybe deep trauma and some of those things, I think for me, and I've had a therapist, I have one, I've had a coach, and they've both been helpful for me in many different ways. I think as a coach, my goal is to help you move forward, get clarity. And through that process, it's changing your heart and your mind, and that's what I hope for.

Sam Morgan:
Right. I want you to move forward towards your goal, make progress. But the reason why you haven't been there is because of your mindset and your beliefs and the stories you're telling yourself. And this is the process we take in order to change that. And that's what I really, I think that we're missing the boat with lean.

Sam Morgan:
We do all of these processes and this frameworks, and it doesn't affect the mindset. It's not a consistent practice over time of running experiments and then reflection. So we missed that. And I just, what I want to offer to folks is you're thinking, if you're thinking about moving forward, doing your own thing or in your space, to your point, mark, and even to this whole conversation, you know, I'm a huge fan of Seth Godin, and I just finished the book, the purple cow, and one of the things he talks about is be remarkable. You know, be interesting, don't be popular.

Sam Morgan:
And I think that that's too often. What we fall into is we're, like, trying to get all the views and likes and impressions and. But that doesn't translate number one into business and number two into impact. It really doesn't. The camera.

Sam Morgan:
We need to move from facing inward towards us, outward towards other people, and bringing people together around an idea. And that's what I hope, you know, we can do, we're doing here. Hopefully, we can bring people around this idea of let's experiment, let's reflect, and let's change the stories we all have that aren't adding value to our life. They're not serving us. Let's change those stories through this practice and let's do it together.

Sam Morgan:
And I'm thankful for this opportunity to have this conversation, mark, and encourage people to do that.

Mark Graban:
Yeah. Well, thank you, Sam. This has been a fun experiment. We could sorry that we're about that. We are out of time because there's more we could talk about.

Mark Graban:
Maybe we're going to explore some other time. Some of your reflections and continued experiments with the lean coaching for lean coaches. I'll encourage people as we wrap up here. Check out my podcast, lean blog interviews. You can find it@leancast.org dot this episode.

Mark Graban:
The recording of it will be released, I think, April 24. You can find that anywhere you listen to podcasts. Most episodes recently the last couple of years are on YouTube. You can also check it out and subscribe there. Sam, how can people find you online?

Mark Graban:
What's the best way to connect other than here on LinkedIn?

Sam Morgan:
LinkedIn is great. Illuminatecoachsammail.com or you can, you know, you can check out my website, but really the best way, just shoot me a DM on LinkedIn. I'm there basically six days a week most of the day, so you can always find me there. And I'd love to have a conversation. If you're in this spot where you're feeling stuck, shoot me a DM and let's just have a conversation and explore just like we did here.

Sam Morgan:
This is the way I show up in all my conversations. And if you feel like that could be valuable, let's do that. I'm wondering, Mark, as we wrap up, what was the most valuable part of this conversation for you today?

Mark Graban:
I think your nudge toward what's the next experiment and to continue going down the path of, okay, well, what are things I have control over? That was a good reminder, I think. And I did write some things down here on a couple of note cards for that follow up. I think this was a good experiment. I appreciate doing it.

Sam Morgan:
This is awesome. Well, maybe it wasn't a nudge. Maybe it was more like a push over the edge, but, well, either way it was fun. So thank you, Mark.

Mark Graban:
This is, I invited the nudging. The other thing, I think about a coaching relationship there. Someone's got to be open to it. And I think I find it fascinating that people are willing to come on with you and do that in a public forum. So thanks to them for their vulnerability and willingness to share.

Mark Graban:
I'm not trying to pat my, it sounds like I'm patting myself on the back. Now, I don't mean that, but to anybody willing to share and talk about things like that, this, hopefully that helps others.

Sam Morgan:
Thank you, Mark. Thank you, everybody.

Mark Graban:
Yeah, thanks. Thanks, everyone for attending. Thanks for the comments. And Sam, thanks again.


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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

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