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Why Shingo, Why Now?

Posted on by Ken Segel

In most healthcare organizations, it is a struggle to get breakthrough improvement gains and sustain them.  The Shingo Model offers a change in perspective that can help diagnose and break down the persistent barrier many organizations face, not by replacing the current approach, but strengthening its foundation.

Here are five reasons organizations need the Shingo Model.

Shingo is not another bit of alphabet soup 

It is not just the next flavor-of-the-month improvement system that if you just toss out your old one and adopt this one, everything will supposedly get better. Rather, Shingo is a powerful framework that you can hold up against your current approach to organizational excellence, which allows you and your colleagues to deepen what you are already doing, to get better and more sustainable results. 

Shingo helps accelerate and sustain improvement

The Shingo framework helps organizations accelerate improvement and make it more sustainable by anchoring it more firmly to fundamental principles that govern organizational results, whether we want to believe in them or not. This principles focus changes the conversation to make it “sing” with the deeper aspirations that all people bring to their work, perhaps especially those in healthcare.  Simultaneously, because the principles are deeply researched and universally true, Shingo makes the organizational conversation more scientific by basing it in timeless, observable fact, but not in a boring way! As we come out of a terrible pandemic which has forever changed our organizations and everyone in them, is anything less than a “fundamental principles” approach worth pursuing?

Shingo clarifies the role of leadership

In many healthcare organizations, leaders feel overburdened and are unsure of their exact role in improvement, and there can be a tension between leaders and the improvement group, which believes leaders have delegated too much responsibility to them. The Shingo framework is amazingly clear, elegant, and effective in assigning leaders a few key responsibilities to drive the organization forward in a way that pulls improvement into the work and management systems effectively. I have seen so many leaders begin to get it in a much more powerful and actionable way in just a single Shingo workshop, and many improvement leaders realize how to better partner with leaders. 

Shingo is incredibly practical

A principles focus sounds like it could be theoretical, but in fact Shingo teaches us that we have to do the hard work of connect the universal principles to specific ideal behaviors, which are the actions the organization wants people to take to produce ideal results, and then create systems that continually drive those behaviors. It is a tough, practical, and very powerful direction.

Shingo links you to a community of learners

Getting started learning about Shingo can link you to an incredible worldwide community of learners.  These are great companies and nonprofits across the globe, who are not only continuously pushing the boundaries of organizational excellence, but also creating the rigorous research base to help organizations across sectors and across the planet move forward faster. 

If you would like to experience these benefits join me for the Discover Excellence Workshop, part of the 2021 Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit. This is not a conventional classroom.  You get to “go see” and try to apply your new insights at a peer institution, during the workshop (virtually, of course, during COVID).  So you get to practice your new skills while learning from people on the front lines of work you recognize. 

The Discover Excellence workshop is the entry point to Shingo. It is the first of six workshops designed by The Shingo Institute that build knowledge and capability. Taking it at Catalysis, with other health care leaders from around the country and world, is an ideal place to explore this framework. It may just help you “break through.” 

Related Items

Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit 

Principles and Behaviors of Organizational Excellence virtual workshop

Catalysis Academy

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