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3 Takeaways From The Lean Heathcare Transformation Summit: Day 1

3 Takeaways From The Lean Heathcare Transformation Summit: Day 1

Thu Jun 8 2017
Yesterday marked the start of the 8th annual Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit. The conference, which is being held in Palm Springs, California, offers healthcare leaders an opportunity to learn about how to create and stabilize organizational change with the help of Lean practices. Many attendees have been using the hashtag, #hcsummit17, to share their takeaways from the big event, providing their followers with some informative case studies and tips to improve standards in healthcare. We were following along all afternoon and compiled a list of five big takeaways from the conferences first session.

"The biggest failure I see is leaders not making personal change"
During the opening keynote address, John S. Toussaint; MD and CEO of Catalysis, spoke at length about the current state of the healthcare environment and how leadership at the top of the food chain directly affects it. There are plenty of organizational changes occurring in the industry, but healthcare is an extremely fragile work environment, and as a result, the tiniest bit of organizational resistance can derail an entire program. Toussaint further explained that humble CEO’s—or those that share the behaviors that are essential to fostering a culture of continuous improvement which are: willingness, humility, curiosity, perseverance, and self-discipline—are shown to have three to five times better outcome measures when it comes to developing and executing lean. An exceptional leader should be willing to take on these personal qualities in an effort to better understand and develop alongside the rest of their team.

“If your lean management system looks the same after a year, you're not doing your job.”
This quote comes from Kim Barnas, author of Beyond Heroes: A Lean Management System for Healthcare, during her Q&A discussion about the organizational structure of a lean management system. As we all know, a huge component of lean stresses on the idea of continuous improvement and ways by which we can sustain it. If your lean program is not developing alongside the transformation of your organizational culture, you cannot possibly expect performance improvements. Part of that development, as Mark Graban points out in his recap of the days events, falls into the hands of the CEO as an organization begins to plan for the future. Leadership should be thinking ahead to their successors and how to best prepare them for the next iteration of a system.

"The system bats last" (and it shouldn’t)
Towards the end of the day acclaimed innovation strategist and author, Matthew May, took the stage to discuss leadership innovation strategies from a systems perspective. Discussing innovation may seem a bit off-brand at a lean healthcare conference, but creativity does play an important role in the development of an organization’s culture. An organization should have leadership that’s motivated and eager to try something new regardless of whether or not they are practicing lean. In order for an organization to succeed at creating something both effective and fresh, there has to be a system set in place to guide the process. May presented a system he uses for innovation known Strategic Innovation System (SPS). It’s described as “a repeatable system of work designed to consistently guide creative concepts from inception to tangible commercial product in alignment with company strategic goals”. The system is made up of three components (governance, generation, and go-to-market) with each step in the planning process designed to guide creative concepts from inception to value. By setting up a system similar to SIS, every employee has a format for processing and sharing ideas. The big idea is that strategy has to come before conceptualization regardless of industry, organization size, or anything else that you may consider being an outlier.
We’ll be back tomorrow to recap the big lessons we learned from day two!

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