What Does it Mean to be Lean?

A friend of mine recently took a new job at an organization that emphasized its practice and company culture of lean during the interview process. My friend was very excited about this opportunity because I have shared with them about the work I do and how different it is working for an organization that strives for organizational excellence. A few weeks after starting their new role, my friend began confiding in me about their disappointment with the organization and their experiences at work. I couldn’t help thinking; first that I am grateful to work where I do, and second, how could an organization be getting lean so “wrong?” Continue reading →

Tips for Creating and Maintaining Processes

Standard processes are fundamental in a continuous improvement environment.  They help us to remove waste and address issues more effectively. Focus on process is one of the foundational principles for Organizational Excellence as defined by the Shingo Institute. Creating and maintaining processes takes deliberate focus and commitment. Here are some tips to guide you as you approach processes in your work. Continue reading →

Dos and Don’ts of Implementing a Management System

Posted on by CATALYSIS

A management system can help you understand your business, create alignment throughout your organization, measure and review performance in real-time, enable problem-solving in the gemba, and sustain improvements. These are just a few reasons why hospitals and healthcare systems around the world are implementing management systems. Data has shown that hospitals with management systems in place were able to respond to crises better than those without because these hospitals were able to rely on the process to communicate from the front lines to leadership and from leadership to front lines effectively. Continue reading →

How Simple 5S Saved My Sanity

Working remotely had been my method of operation for the last seven years. I had my protected office space, had found my groove and our family had found a solid routine that worked for us, even though I travelled quite frequently. Now, throw in a pandemic, along with virtual learning/instruction for one elementary student, one 3-year-old toddler, a move to a new home that brought along with it two additional housemates (my parents live in our in-law suite one-third of the year), and gaining one additional office mate, now that my husband is fully remote as well: this had the makings of a recipe for disaster. My protected space and time were thrown right out of the window. Continue reading →

Catalysis Staff Share Reflections from 2021

Posted on by CATALYSIS

As 2021 comes to a close, it is a good time to pause and reflect on events from the year. Reflection is integral to the learning and personal development process. This important part of the PDSA cycle helps us take stock of what went well and what we can improve on in the future.

The Catalysis staff has taken time to share their reflections from working with customers and one another as we continue to transform healthcare. Continue reading →

Top Ten Blog Posts of 2021

Posted on by CATALYSIS

Each week we share blogs in the hopes of inspiring healthcare leaders to accelerate change throughout the healthcare industry. We strive to share knowledge that will help transform organizations to a culture of improvement, delivering continually higher value outcomes for patients, staff, and communities. In 2021 we focused our blog content on building and strengthening management systems, developing problem-solving skills, remaining dedicated to the principles of organizational excellence as the foundation of culture, and how leader behaviors impact organizational culture. Continue reading →

Why We Need Failure

This past weekend my 8-year-old son had his first basketball tournament of the season. When we arrived all the kids on his team were filled with confidence and ready to play. Their first game was a disaster, they lost 28-2, resulting in frustration and even some tears. The kids were devastated and it was hard to get them pumped up for the next game. Between games I provided words of encouragement and talked with my son about what he learned and what he could do differently in the next game. The good news was that by the next game the boys played better as a team and you could tell they were learning from their defeat.

This experience made me think about expressions we often use at work about failure like “fail fast,” and “celebrate failures.” We use these phrases because failure is an important part of learning and continuous improvement. Here are some reasons that we need failure. Continue reading →

What it Takes to Lead in a Continuous Improvement Environment

Posted on by CATALYSIS

Leading in a continuous improvement environment is very different from the way many healthcare leaders have been taught. It isn’t about having all the answers and fixing every problem. It’s about enabling others to solve problems and helping people connect their work to the work of the system.

It can be challenging for leaders to make this transition and change their own behaviors so they can effectively support the culture transformation. In the book Becoming the Change, by John Toussaint, MD, and Kim Barnas, they introduce a way for leaders to assess their leadership so they can intentionally change specific behaviors. Continue reading →

Five Benefits of a Daily Huddle

Posted on by CATALYSIS

A daily huddle, or improvement huddle as it is sometimes referred to, is an important component to a management system. Huddles provide an outlet for valuable communication that can be escalated and shared throughout the different levels of the organization. We have heard from many organizations that a consistent huddle process and management system enabled them to make decisions quickly and stay connected during the COVID pandemic.

There are numerous benefits of a daily huddle. Here are a few: Continue reading →