Which eye is your dominant eye? If you are like me when I first heard this concept, you may be saying to yourself, “I didn’t know I had one!” But indeed, you do. Each of us has one eye which is dominant over the other one. The next question is: “Do we use our dominant eye to focus on the work that we have to do?”
Many times, we never think about using our dominant eye as we view the world. Certainly we do not use this concept when we consider what Lean Healthcare can bring to our healthcare world. Someone once said, “It is not so much how the world is, but more importantly it is critical how we view the world.” That thought really speaks to me as I work in hospitals around the country. While some people are focused and have Lean directly in their line of sight, a successful Lean journey requires that everyone involved focus on it with their dominant eye.
Could you be a little bit curious? Just what is a “dominant eye” and what does it have to do with Lean? First, let me suggest a simple way to determine your dominant eye. Take both hands and touch the tips of your thumbs and the tips of your forefingers together to form a triangle. Hold the triangle in front of your eyes. While looking through the triangle, pick out an object 10 to 15 feet from you and look at it. Now close one eye and continue to look at the object out of your open eye. (Don’t move the triangle!) Then, reverse the process. The eye that stays focused on the object is your dominant eye. If the object goes out of focus, your non-dominant eye has taken over!
Are you pursuing Lean Healthcare with your dominant eye? Is your Lean journey in focus? If you are viewing Lean with your dominant eye, it is much more likely that you will continue to make eliminating waste a priority throughout your facility. It is more likely that all the people in your facility will be more committed to process improvement and problem-solving, as they follow your focused approach to process improvement. It is also more likely that your team and facility will achieve its goals.
On the other hand, if you are viewing Lean through your non-dominant eye – allowing it to get out of focus – it will be difficult, if not impossible to maintain your commitment to continuous improvement throughout the facility. It will be even harder for your employees to maintain their commitment.
So now with your increased awareness of your dominant eye, use it in your Lean journey. Make sure your purpose and your objectives stay in focus. Let your dominant eye be the guide to achieving both. You will increase the odds of achieving your Lean Healthcare goals. Your organization will be more likely to become a center of continuous improvement as you lead with your dominant eye.
This week’s blog was written by Jay Conner, Ph.D., a Senior Manager at HPP.
Jay has more than 30 years of experience in communications, human resources, and human resources development. He has worked in both higher education and in the private sector. In healthcare, he has consulted in training and development, executive and managerial coaching, recruiting and hiring, employee relations, performance management, compensation, employment law compliance and employee manuals and handbooks.
Jay holds a B.A. from Georgetown College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Communications from LSU.