For numerous reasons, the most critical ingredient in a successful transformation from a traditional organization to a Lean organization is executive leadership. Yet we frequently hear the executive team saying they simply don’t have the time to align, learn, review and support the Lean transformation. We also know that if they don’t do the standard work required, the initiative will most certainly fail and any improvements gained will not be sustained.
Knowing this I recently asked the executive team at one my client hospitals to give examples of waste they encounter and cause on a daily basis. They made a list and organized the causes according to the eight wastes we look for in Lean Healthcare. Here is what they came up with:
One might organize these differently, but you get the idea. When asked, some executives estimate that 35 percent of their time is non-value added. So yes, executives are too busy to support Lean initiatives. But, that doesn’t mean what they are busy doing is adding value. Because of this, the opportunity cost is huge.
Suggestions? Call a time out. Look at how you work. Start changing the way you work. Time spent by executives reducing waste will benefit the entire organization. Doing more of the same will only give you more of the same.
Today’s blog was written by Terry Howell, Ed.D., senior principal at HPP.
Terry has 30 years of healthcare leadership experience with a focus on performance improvement, patient experience, quality improvement, and strategic planning. He served as chief quality officer at a large academic medical center in Minneapolis where he was responsible for oversight and coordination of performance improvement, patient experience, clinical risk, safety, accreditation and organization-wide planning.
Terry received a Doctorate of Education degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Tennessee followed by post-doctoral work in Organizational Development. He served on the faculty of the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, the Healthcare Quality Improvement National Demonstration Project and has taught graduate courses in Tulane University’s International Medical Management program.