Leaders learning lean — time for a field trip

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

The power of learning from your peers

I spent the better part of a day this week at the annual meeting of the Epic Michigan Users Group (we call it eMUG). But I don’t want to focus on Epic. I want to talk about the value of learning from your peers. It could be any vendor or any user group.

This was our fourth annual eMUG conference. Given space limitations, we had 200 attendees last year and with the venue this year we were able to accommodate 400, a significant increase. With 11 health systems in Michigan on Epic, that’s a good size group from each organization.

When asked for a show of hands on how many had been to Epic’s national user group meeting (UGM) before, only 25-30% of the attendees raised their hands. Local user group meetings like eMUG give many more staff a chance to attend and connect with their peers. National user group meetings are costly with airline and hotel expenses for a couple days.

This eMUG meeting was a content rich day: Continue reading

Meet your future workforce

Future IT worker helps with the a/v during the morning presentation.

Yesterday the IT Department hosted 25 children for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. This annual event is a great way to encourage both girls and boys to consider careers in health care and information technology.

I kicked things off at breakfast and talked with all the participating young people (ages 6-13) and their parents. I met many of the parents and children individually as they signed in and ate breakfast.  One parent said to her child that I was her boss’s, boss’s, boss.  I said they should think of me like the principal at their school – in charge of everyone in our IT department. I thought it would relate to them better than saying CIO. Continue reading

Make the most of HIMSS15

The health IT event of the year is almost here. Yes, just a few more days until HIMSS15 and time for education, networking and vendor exploration. Whenever HIMSS is in Chicago, some people worry about the weather. But it looks like well have high temps in the 60s so you southern and west coast folks can leave behind your boots and gloves!  I am sure the Boston attendees will not bring snow.

March to HIMSS Post Icon-Sue Schade BlogIve attended HIMSS many times and have learned how to make the most of my time there. So, whether its your first HIMSS or you are a veteran, here are some useful tips:

Education sessions – The best ones will be standing room only.  If you really want to hear a particular presentation, get there early. Room locations may be very far apart so map out your next session. Pay attention to the session designation in the listing – basic, advanced, or intermediate.  The last thing you want to do is walk half a mile to get to a session that is targeted at a different level audience.

Networking – Networking is one of the greatest values of this annual event. HIMSS provides many ways to find people with similar interests as yours. Plan ahead: Continue reading

Networking, learning and giving back

I’m heading to the CHIME Fall Forum for a few days. Many of my health care CIO colleagues will be there. I look forward to the chance to network and learn from them in track sessions, and hear from keynote speakers. I’m even being pressed into service on a panel called “Leadership Stories Worth Telling” as there was a last minute cancellation.

I have been active in professional organizations for many years. Anyone who doesn’t take the opportunity to get involved in such organizations is limiting their own professional development and, in turn, limiting what they can offer to their employer.

I remember many years ago when I attended my first professional conference. Continue reading