A management system is a great way to learn and understand your business, create alignment throughout your organization, improve performance through visibility, enable problem-solving, and sustain improvements.
For a management system to be most effective, all areas within an organization should adopt the elements from the frontline to the executive team. If your organization is working to implement a management system, here are some ways that the improvement team can support the implementation. Continue reading →
As we do most years, last year, in the midst of Covid, we at Catalysis had the opportunity to review our True North metrics. Were we moving the needle? Were these the right metrics? For our quality and customer service metrics, we couldn’t unequivocally and enthusiastically answer “Yes!” – so we took the time to reflect. Below are the steps we took and what we learned. These can apply to metrics at any level, not just organizational True North. Continue reading →
The pandemic has brought many changes to how and where people work. One such change in my household was that both my husband and I had to work from home in the office space (meaning the same room). Like the rest of the world, while we initially expected it to be a few short weeks, this arrangement has become much more permanent than we initially thought. We’ve worked in our respective fields for 15+ years and realized in our close quarters that we didn’t have an real understanding of how each other’s teams function. I have had the ability to observe and listen to their weekly team meetings. Every week it’s the same story: someone surfaces a problem or something that is perceived to be behind and the finger pointing begins. Was it sales’ fault, their team’s fault? Who on the team is involved? Never is the approach to first focus on the process. Continue reading →
Respect for every individual is foundational to creating and sustaining a culture of continuous improvement. The Shingo Institute states, “Individuals are energized when this type of respect is demonstrated. Most associates will say that to be respected is the most important thing they want from their employment. When people feel respected, they give far more than their hands—they give their minds and hearts as well.”
This principle is lived through the behaviors and actions of the people within your organization, especially the leaders. Here are seven ways leaders can show respect for every individual. Continue reading →
Asking effective questions is foundational to creating the conditions for better critical thinking and learning. This is an important part of a leader’s role within an organization striving for Organizational Excellence. Many effective questions are often referred to as Humble Inquiry questions. Introduced by Dr. Edgar Schein, Humble Inquiry is the practice of asking open-ended questions to show genuine respect, improve active listening, and offer curiosity about another’s thinking.
Here are some things to remember as you practice asking effective questions. Continue reading →
Leader standard work defines what activities you as a leader should be doing, when you should be doing them, and how you should be approaching each one. Leader standard work includes activities that you should be doing on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. These activities need to support the principles of organizational excellence.
It can be hard for leaders to take the initiative to implement their own standard work because it takes commitment and patience. It also requires you to look closely at the purpose of your job and whether the activities you are doing are aligned with that purpose.
If you have not already adopted your own leader standard work, we highly encourage you to try it. Leader standard work is an essential component of a lean environment and will help you sustain a culture of continuous improvement. Continue reading →
As an organization matures on the journey to organizational excellence, leaders shift their role to serve as coaches. In this environment it is important to build coaching capabilities within the Process Improvement team and among front-line managers. In the PI role, coaching for technical competency – like teaching tools is a skill used daily. However, coaching for development, helping to challenge people’s thinking, is a different skill set. Coaching someone for development can be hard, especially if someone is new to coaching or if they are coaching a superior in their organization. In these situations, people often feel like they must have all the answers or put extra pressure on themselves to solve the problems. The fact is, they are the coach, and the learner is often the expert. For the coach, the desired outcome in this scenario is the learning and growth for the learner, not solving the problem. It is important for coaches to get out of their own heads and focus on the learner. Continue reading →
In a recent blog post, Where to Start When Implementing a Management System, Catalysis faculty member, Pam Helander, suggested that the stat sheet is a great place to start because it can help you create time to focus on improvement work, understand where improvement work should be focused, and begin to teach problem-solving skills.
A stat sheet is intended to help the leader understand their business, begin to eliminate firefighting, and develop staff as problem-solvers. There is often a learning curve when beginning to use a stat sheet for both the leader and the staff. Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind as you are learning. Continue reading →
There’s a lot of buzz in healthcare about innovation. Innovative thinking is how healthcare organizations are working to add value to patients and stay competitive in the rapidly changing healthcare climate. In the words of one healthcare leader, “innovation is developing the future.”
While organizations may have different ways of thinking about innovation and even different processes they use to get there, we found through talking with many of our customers that there are four essential elements for innovating patient care:
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This year has been an eventful one for my family. We had the regular COVID restrictions and wished we could all be together celebrating life’s many milestones. This year also brought unanticipated opportunities of spending time with loved ones as inpatients (non-COVID) in several different hospitals. This is the kind of Gemba you never want to visit, but the view makes for new perspectives with the patient at the center of care. Fortunately, everyone is doing well and back home, but I would like to reflect for a moment on some learning and yes, opportunities from the patient and family perspective.
Many years ago, I was part of a value stream event that focused on the patient and caregiver experience on the inpatient units. As we collected data from the patient, we heard that they were concerned about not knowing who their caregivers were by discipline and could not remember their names. The staff was concerned about the number of patient calls and their inability to get to the patients fast enough. Administration was concerned about patient discharge and length of stay.
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