Say that title fast! We held our quarterly IT leadership retreat this week. As we continue on our lean journey, I decided a field trip was in order.
James Goebel explains how employee can see their scheduled tasks on the resource management digital board at Menlo Innovations.
We spent two hours at Menlo Innovations getting a private group tour from co-founder James Goebel. To prepare, we read the “The Joy of Lean Innovation: A Case Study of Menlo Innovations” and listened to a Gemba Academy podcast of an interview with Richard Sheridan, Menlo Innovation’s founder and CEO. Many others from University of Michigan Health System have visited Ann Arbor based Menlo over the years. I’d been encouraged to make a visit by my lean coach, Margie Hagene, and our internal UMHS lean champion, Dr. Jack Billi.
Menlo is a software design and development company. But we weren’t visiting to understand their approach to software. Rather, we wanted to understand how they have applied lean principles to run their business and create the culture that Richard Sheridan describes in his book, “Joy, Inc. – How We Built a Workplace People Love.”
Two of our new IT directors are in their third week, so we started the retreat by each describing the most effective leadership team experience we’ve had. The themes that emerged Continue reading
That old saying “stop and smell the roses” could be updated for the road warriors among us to “stop and look at the incredible aerial views”. Recently, I was on a flight that included the dreaded holding pattern and circling.
The destination airport was closed due to heavy fog. But out my window was a beautiful sight. Light, fluffy clouds and green forests dotted with little towns as far as I could see.
I had been doing my usual on a business trip…..catching up on email and work reading. I prefer aisle seats but this flight I ended up in a window seat. So with a great view, why not “stop and smell the roses” a bit. Or call it being mindful as many of us are now trying to be more often– fully aware and in the present moment.
The pace we go is faster and more intense than we may like. Weekends are filled with commitments, errands, and more work. I think “what would it have been like to live the slower or simpler life of my grandparents,” but then I’m quickly back to reality. I do appreciate the many advances we take for granted.
We’re in constant motion. Continue reading
If you don’t know what an “A3” is, don’t worry. When I started at University of Michigan Health System, I didn’t either. When I first saw an A3 meeting on my calendar, I asked “What group is that?”
There were so many groups with different acronyms! Turned out it was a meeting with a few colleagues to update our status report on major UMHS IT initiatives. We were using an A3 format for our report.
So what is an A3? It is a tool used as part of Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA). The A3 name actually comes from the paper size (11 x 17 sheet) that tells a story laid out from the upper left-hand side to the lower right.
Telling the story of a problem on an A3 includes looking at the background (why and what), describing its current condition (where things stand), and doing a root cause analysis. And then, establishing goals and targets, proposing countermeasures, making an action plan and determining success metrics. Continue reading
People often ask me, “How do you find time to write”? I have been writing this blog every week for over a year. A very senior leader in our organization who always compliments my writing told me recently, “If you can find time to write it, then I can find time to read it”. I appreciate all the comments on the posts where people share their own perspective and stories.
It is a weekly discipline. But knowing that the content is appreciated and has an impact keeps me going. Writing has also been a great method of reflection for me – Hansei as the Japanese call it.
I guess with over 450 subscribers and more than 27,000 views to date, it’s more than just my family and closest friends who are reading it – that’s all most bloggers ask for.
Regular subscribers get an email notification for each new post. Beyond that, how do I reach readers? I promote each post through the usual social media channels – Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter — each of which has its own particular audience. I also promote my posts through Next Wave Connect, a social media platform focused on health care. I’m grateful to Anthony Guerra and Kate Gamble at HealthSystemCIO.com for re-posting most of my blog entries; my CIO colleagues who aren’t connected on social media will see them there. And now I publish some posts directly on LinkedIn at the request of one of my connections. He said it would make it easier to share with all of his connections. Continue reading
I usually stay away from politics here, but last Friday was just too monumental. On June 26th, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled definitively in favor of marriage equality. It’s now the law of the land, and for me, it’s personal.
Many families have secrets. Something everyone knows but nobody talks about. But that sounds so yesterday. And yes, for many it is. Yet many families still struggle with acknowledging that a loved one is gay or lesbian. Yes, family secrets – we all have them.
My family is no different. My Aunt Dorothy was born in 1914 and died in 1997 at the age of 83. She lived her entire adult life with her partner, Teal. There was never an open discussion in our family; to us, they were just “life-long friends”. Dorothy and Teal met while serving in the Women’s Army Core (WAC) during WWII, and lived together until Teal died in 1990.
Dorothy, a life-long Roman Catholic never heard a Pope say, as Pope Francis has, “who am I to judge?”
The pain of same sex couples to be accepted and respected in our society was never more evident for me than when Teal was in her final days. Dorothy had cared for her at home as long as she could, but once Teal was hospitalized, the hospital staff ignored Dorothy.
Dorothy was there all day every day and managed all of Teal’s care, but when Teal died the hospital didn’t call her. They called Teal’s nephew instead who had visited her only once or twice while there.
Dorothy walked into Teal’s room to find an empty bed. Continue reading