Tuesday, December 17, 2013

On learning organizations

Please check out this new article I wrote for the Athenahealth Leadership Forum.  The lede:

A colleague once said, “Every plan is excellent, until it’s tested. It’s execution that’s the problem.” And so it is. 


Project advocates enter every endeavor with a theory of the case, a vision of how things should be. But, as my late colleague Donald Schön noted, reflective practitioners are constantly reviewing the evidence to modify their framework in response to reality.

Lean organizations understand that there is no group of central planners clever enough to design an optimum complex process. Lean leaders do not lack for a strong purpose—indeed audacious goals are favored—but neither do they lack humility. 

Lean and other similarly designed organizations can only exist where the senior leadership is a strong advocate for the proposition that reflective practice is the best way to achieve outstanding performance for their customers. The leaders of such organizations embed that modesty and reflection in every aspect of their lives.


Peter Lin-Marcus said...

From Facebook:

Thanks for sharing, points often overlooked by both sides in the dialogue - a culture of reflection and continuous improvement is key to success - and not just in health care.

Sherry Reynolds said...

From Facebook:

It is interesting to see the confluence between collaboration and lean in such a power based system like health care. Tomorrow I am going to visit Seattle Children's Hospital hospital - one of the leaders in Lean and not surprisingly one of our first adopters to ry out a a new health care based - cross organization enterprise level social networking platform.

Paul Levy said...

They've done a marvelous job, as have many of the Ohio and Kansas pediatric hospitals. Something about taking care of children helps people be more modest, I guess.