Establishing and Sustaining a Lean Management System

Posted on by Kim Barnas

This is the first blog in a four-part series focused on sustaining lean transformation in healthcare organizations.

In my decades of experience applying Lean thinking to improve how hospitals function and collaborating with hundreds of healthcare leaders to help implement system-wide Lean healthcare initiatives, I’ve come to understand one thing: The challenge is not about creating short-term change. The real challenge is creating sustainable change. Lean leaders must have the infrastructure and support to create and maintain momentum and make continuous improvements. Continue reading →

Advancing Healthcare Access Through A3 Thinking

One of the biggest challenges facing healthcare organizations today is improving patient access to care. Long wait times, limited appointment availability, and inefficient scheduling systems can all contribute to a backlog of patients and a decrease in overall patient satisfaction. However, by using A3 thinking to identify and address these issues, healthcare organizations can improve clinic access and provide better care for their patients. Continue reading →

But my plate is already full: When Coaching Feels Like an ‘Add-on’ as a Leader

Posted on by Karen Flom

When you sense your leadership plate is already full to the brim, the thought of adding just one more thing can be overwhelming.  And if that new thing requires you to change, the fear that everything will topple over and make a bigger mess can stop you in your tracks.

As a leader, you already have a lot on your plate.  You manage your team, set goals, monitor progress, and ensure everyone is working towards the same objectives.  So, when you’re asked to develop a coaching leadership style, it can feel like an additional responsibility that you don’t have time for.  However, coaching is an essential aspect of effective leadership, and taking the time to invest in developing coaching skills will, in the long run, unburden your extremely full plate. Continue reading →

Spreading Daily Management

Posted on by Kim Keller

There is an old adage - How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

The same principle can be applied when it comes to thinking about spreading Daily Management. Daily Management is many things. It is a framework to align and organize daily work to achieve strategic goals and address operational needs. It is a mechanism to cascade those goals to the front line staff and translate them into priorities for local improvement. It is an incubator for staff development and coaching. And it is a whiteboard full of information. Continue reading →

A Coaching System: The Invisible Key to your Lean Management System Success

Many organizations have been on a lean journey for years, accumulating learning and experience along the way, with good pockets of improvements. They create value streams that seem to achieve good results only to see them fade over time, management systems that are implemented, but lack true engagement from everyone in the organization.  We have seen time and time again that the default way of thinking is “tools get results,” and there is truth to that because tools will get you there initially, but they only give you the illusion of control.  Rather than creating a culture of learning, development, and sustained, reliable results, tools only create a culture of compliance.  Continue reading →

Five Key Roles for Leading during Change

It has been said that there is one constant in life…that constant is change.  This is not just true in our personal and professional lives, but in the organizations where we work.  So here is the big question…how do we manage it?  How do we prepare for it?  How do we thrive in it?  How do we lead in it?  While change requires each of us to navigate our own change journey, as a leader, there are some key roles we have in helping others in our organization successfully navigate theirs. Continue reading →

Removing the Barriers to Collaboration

Have you ever been working on an improvement idea and when the time comes to share it with others you think to yourself, “Ugh, I don’t want to.”

If you’re like me, maybe you even groan and make a face.

Well, it turns out that those little pangs of *UGH* are moments of insight. They are a signal that it’s time to dig deeper and ask ourselves, “What am I really avoiding?” Continue reading →

Moving Beyond Hopes and Dreams to Plans and Realities

Recently, I’ve been working with a non-profit board that is trying to reshape the organization’s mission.  While they have a lot of hopes for the future and what the organization will accomplish, they find themselves spinning in conversation with no action forward.  Without a plan, these will remain conversations of hopes and dreams.  What are your hopes and dreams for your team and organization?  What is your plan to achieve those aspirations? Continue reading →

Preparing for Gemba

Posted on by Karen Flom

In sports, it seems that winning is everything. Players who don’t perform are cut. Teams who don’t win championships lose players to a perceived better opportunity with another team. As one of the winningest basketball coaches in history, John Wooden might be an exception to that philosophy. He coached his players to prepare to the best of their ability and trust that success will follow. One of his most famous quotes reminds us, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail” and his most effective teaching method was being a consistent example. Continue reading →