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Are You Measuring the Right Things?

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“Without the capacity to measure, we would be uncertain, literally, as to where we stood and where we are going. We would not know if we are rich or poor, hot or cold, old or young. The very word ‘measure’ pervades all fields… You can’t make decisions, connections, money, or music without true measurements.” – Geniat and Libert

In the world of overwhelming data, how do you know if you are measuring the right things? The focus is often on outcome measures.  These measures are used to compare performance between organizations and individuals. The struggle is that the outcome measures are often not real-time. It is hard to know whether the improvements you are making have any impact until the end of the month, quarter or year. Good performance measures should focus on systems and processes that create value and are ultimately measured by outcome measures.  Continue reading →

Stop Breaking New Processes

Leader standard work is an essential component in a lean environment. The fact is that using lean with processes without changing leadership principles and practices never goes well. Consequently, when leaders stick to their old ways the new lean processes will eventually break.

Leader standard work should include activities that support lean principles. For example, leaders need to schedule time to see reality from the gemba, to develop and coach their team members, and to assess and reinforce the alignment to the True North goals.  Continue reading →

How to Create Strategic Agility with Senior Leaders

Posted on by Jeff Hunter

When I’m speaking with central improvement office teams about Patient-Centered Strategy: A Learning System for Better Care I’m often asked, “This makes so much sense to me, but how do I get the senior leadership team to do this?” This captures a common frustration among improvement professionals Many tell me things like “my senior leaders say they support lean, but they don’t model the principles and behaviors that embed lean thinking in the organization.”  Continue reading →

Are Principles a “Cabin Word”

A while back at Catalysis we did an ice-breaker before a value stream mapping event that demonstrated how the meaning of words can differ from person to person.

First, the facilitator tells the story of a man who was found dead inside a cabin and nobody else was around. The team takes turns asking questions to try to figure out what happened to the man. People guess things like: “he fell,” or “there was an avalanche.” The team is taking the word cabin to mean a log building out in the woods or the mountains. But in this case, the man died from a plane crash; he was found in an airplane cabin. Continue reading →

When Your Role is to Coach Up in Your Organization

Posted on by Karen Flom

Often improvement team members are in the position of coaching someone who is a senior leader in the organization and who may even have positional authority over them. This can often be nerve-racking and make these coaches feel like they are not equipped to succeed. Continue reading →

Five Benefits of Practicing Kata

Smiling multiethnic staff at the wall with stickers on a meeting in the company.

Many organizations we work with have management systems and problem-solving processes and tools already in place. They often wonder how and where kata fits into what they are already doing. Kata does not replace these tools; instead kata can be used as an opportunity to enhance the processes and methods that you are currently using.

There are two patterns of kata, improvement kata and coaching kata. Improvement kata is simply a routine to engage a team around process improvement, whereas coaching kata is a method or routine for coaching a person through problem-solving.  Continue reading →

Bringing Intention to Life

Posted on by Paul Pejsa

Christie Clinic Debrief2

Healthcare leaders all have the best intentions to become better leaders and transform the culture at our organizations. Maybe there are behaviors we want to work on, or maybe we just need to get to gemba more often. The problem is that things tend to get in our way, there is always some other work to be done that we may deem as a higher priority. But what is a higher priority than the culture of our organizations?

We need to make the time and be intentional about making a change. Continue reading →

Inspiring Healthcare Leaders, Accelerating Change

Close up of woman hands making frame gesture with sunrise on moutain, Female capturing the sunrise, Future planning, sunlight outdoor.

Welcome to the Catalysis Blog!

You may recall from science class that catalysis is the acceleration of a reaction by a catalyst. We chose that name because our goal is to inspire healthcare leaders and accelerate change throughout the healthcare industry; change to deliver higher value for patients.  Continue reading →

Communication Experimentation

On March 30, 2008, the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value started writing blog posts highlighting successful transformations of healthcare systems.  Over the course of the past eight years, the depth and scope of the Center Point Blog has widened to include the entire spectrum of payment, delivery and transparency.  And as the landscape for improving healthcare has changed, we have changed with it, to supply the needed information to help guide our readers with objective and trusted viewpoints. Continue reading →

Holiday Lean

Posted on by CATALYSIS

The holidays at the end of the year are a time of reflection.  During this time we pause to look back and take stock of significant events in our lives during the previous 11 months.  This year I would like to offer some of my personal reflections from my collaboration with many committed, visionary, and courageous industry leaders and coaches.  Here they are, in no particular order:    Continue reading →