Lean thinkers do their best to avoid blaming individuals for systemic problems. This lesson comes also from W. Edwards Deming who was deeply influential on Toyota.
It’s easier said than done. Old habits die hard. We all sometimes find ourselves thinking blaming thoughts instead of thinking about the system and how that contributes to the problem or scenario.
#TBT: Don’t Blame the Kicker, Don’t Blame the Oscar Presenter, and Don’t Blame the Healthcare Professional
Today's Post in <50 words: Lean thinkers don't blame individuals who are in a bad system, whether that's a presenter at Oscars, a kicker in a football game, or a healthcare professional in a hospital.
During the class, there was a case study discussion about a hospital that was trying to solve the problem of nurses not always scanning patient bar codes and medications 100% of the time. In the discussion, I was disappointed that an attendee fell back on saying...
Alternative headline: “Poorly Designed Card Trips Up Beatty and Dunaway at The Oscars.” Or “A Bad Process Beats Warren Beatty Every Time.” What are the Lean lessons from this mistake?
A number of you emailed me about this report in the Detroit News. I grew up in Detroit and my first job was as a carrier for the News. Loved ones have received care from the Detroit Medical Center system… not that you’d want to read about problems like this at any hospital:
I am still trying to learn more, but they will sell the book or, if you already own the book, you can just buy a quiz (that can be mailed to you or delivered online). One nurse I knew was excited because “21.5 contact hours for 30 bucks is a steal!”
The past two weeks have been very busy, to say the least. Thanks to the guest bloggers who contributed posts to help reduce my personal overburden (this particular overburden, of course, being a “First World Problem,” as they say).
After living in San Antonio for almost four years, my wife and I will finally be settled into the DFW area by the end of March. There’s a lot we will miss about San Antonio and that includes the San Antonio Spurs. Even if you’re not into the NBA, it’s basically a civic obligation to cheer for the Spurs and to attend a game here and there. It’s a very similar community feeling like they have about the Green Bay Packers up in that part of Wisconsin.
When we see a simple error, even in something as silly as sports memorabilia, we would ask "why?" or "how?" instead of "who?" Blaming individuals doesn't help...
There’s no magic about the number five. I’ve seen some people write that five is somehow a “magic number.” No, that’s not really the case. Ask why more than once, probably more than twice…
It's tempting to visit a place like ThedaCare and then mandate "everybody must have huddle boards." Then, a bunch of huddle boards get purchased and installed... and maybe not used. It's another thing for executives to realize that they have to change the way they manage. There's a great quote that ThedaCare folks readily share, including Kim Barnas in her book Beyond Heroes:
My wife and I were in Boston over the weekend, as it was her fifth reunion from her MIT master’s program. I’m also an alum, but was considered a “guest” since I graduated 16 years ago from my program and you don’t have to have an MIT degree to know 16 divided by 5 is not an integer.
Back in 2007, I had my first opportunity to travel to England, a country I really love visiting. I had the chance to attend the “First Global Lean Healthcare Summit” that was produced by Dan Jones and the Lean Enterprise Academy. They actually have posted many of the slide decks from the Summit there on the site, but there’s no video that I can find. I’ve embedded some of the decks below and I’ve also added some of my notes that I took.
OK, so it’s not the kind of scientific research that involves lab coats and microscopes, but I’m doing some research that I’d like your help with.
I’m looking to do some research and some interviews for writing projects related to two different topics.
“Accountability” is a word that’s easy to throw around in an organization. It’s often pretty meaningless (or not well understood). What does it really mean?
People say things like:
Today is another “Throwback Thursday” post where I revisit posts from the past. Friday and Saturday, I’m going to be attending the “Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit” in Irvine, California.
I travel a lot and, thanks to my work, I’m pretty well attuned to the idea of not blaming individuals for systemic problems in an organization. Or, at least I try to be good about this. I’m human, so I slip up sometimes… like the time I wrongly blamed a bartender for a bad attitude, only to learn the systemic reason behind their frustration.