Returning to the podcast for Episode #358 is Steve Spear, a senior lecturer at MIT and author of the book The High-Velocity Edge: How Market Leaders Leverage Operational Excellence to Beat the Competition. He's also the founder and co-creator of a software company and product called See to Solve.

He's also the author of two outstanding Harvard Business Review articles: “Decoding the DNA of the Toyota Production System" and "Fixing Healthcare from the Inside, Today," both of which we'll discuss today. One of the themes for this episode is the evolution of knowledge. What does that mean for a company and what does that mean for an esteemed researcher and professor like Steve?

Steve has a BS in economics from Princeton University, an MA in management and an MS in mechanical engineering from MIT, and a PhD from Harvard Business School. He was previously a guest in episodes #58, 87, and 262. I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I did!

Joining me today for episode #357 is Michael Conroy, M.D., the Chief Medical Officer of Sutter Medical Group in northern California.

Mike was previously the Medical Director of the Lean Promotion Office for the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and he was in that role when we first met about a decade ago. We collaborated on some Lean workshop training material for him to deliver to other physicians, through my role at Catalysis at the time.

In today's episode, we'll talk about how he was first exposed to Lean, we'll take a few metaphorical elevator rides to talk about how Lean benefits patients and physicians, and shifting from Lean as tools or events to being a way of thinking and a common operating system for an organization.

Mike is board certified in Internal Medicine and is a Fellow in the American College of Physicians. After medical school at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, he did his residency at Virginia Mason Medical Center where he worked with Dr. Gary Kaplan, a well-known Lean leader who is now CEO of that system. Small world! 

My guest for episode #356 of the podcast is Amy C. Edmondson, PhD, the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School. She is the author of three books on teaming and her most recent book is the topic of conversation today: The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth.


In the episode, we explore the incredibly important concept of "psychological safety," which means, as Edmondson defines it:


"...a climate in which people are comfortable expressing and being themselves."


This is necessary for Kaizen (continuous improvement) and it's also a huge contributor to people being able to speak up about patient safety risks (or other problems in the workplace).


One thing I love about her book is that she doesn't just diagnose the problem (that fear of speaking up is bad), but she also lays out a plan for how leaders can create a more psychologically-safe environment and culture.


From her bio: "Edmondson received her PhD in organizational behavior, AM in psychology, and AB in engineering and design from Harvard University."



So, an engineer, an architect, and a nurse walk into a hospital... no, that's not a setup for the punchline to a joke.

Today, in episode #355 of the podcast, I'm sharing three short conversations with three people who have very different backgrounds, but they still all ended up working to improve healthcare.

We have a Toyota-trained engineer (Isaac Mitchell), who transitioned (like me) from manufacturing to healthcare.

We are also joined by an architect (Laura Silvoy) who got a master's degree in health systems engineering and helps an architecture firm in the improvement and design of healthcare facilities.

And, we have a business student (Darrin Judkins) who then got a nursing degree and, after years of providing patient care at the bedside, also got into Lean and healthcare improvement.

We all know each other through our involvement in the Society for Health Systems (a part of the Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers) and the annual Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference. The event is being held February 26 to 28 this year in Savannah, Georgia. I love this event -- the learning, the networking, the friends... and I highly recommend it. We'll chat about that a bit too.

This episode is a little different... but I think you'll like it.

Joining me for episode #354 of the podcast is Kim Hollon, the CEO and President of Signature Healthcare, based in Brockton, Massachusetts.

I first met Kim about a decade ago and, as we discover during the podcast discussion, one of my Lean healthcare clients in Dallas was later an important influence in Kim's discovery and embrace of Lean.

What prompted the podcast interview was Kim's recent article titled "The Health Care Leader's Role in Safety," which I blogged about not long ago. So, in this episode, we talk about the article, his personal history with Lean, and much more.

Please rate, review, and subscribe to the podcast!

Links and full transcript:

My guest for Episode #353 of the podcast is somebody whose work I've appreciated for a long time -- Quint Studer. I was first introduced to his book Hardwiring Excellence back in 2005 and I've been following his work (and reading his books) ever since.

Today, we'll talk about "hardwiring" and other concepts from his first book. We will also explore his latest book, The Busy Leader's Handbook: How To Lead People and Places That Thrive, a book intended for leaders in all industries.

Joining me for Episode #352 of the podcast is Frederick Southwick, M.D. He is a Professor of Medicine and is also Director of Patient Care Quality and Safety in the Division of Hospitalist Medicine at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Fred is the author of many books including Critically Ill: A 5-Point Plan to Cure Healthcare Delivery. In the podcast, Fred will talk about why he shifted from infectious diseases to focusing on hospital medicine and healthcare improvement. This was driven partially by two very personal episodes with problems in the healthcare system that his then-wife and he both suffered from. Fred was appointed as a Harvard University Advanced Leadership fellow, where he studied business and public health.

Fred was exposed to Lean through MIT Prof. Steven Spear and they have published an article together, where they call for "all academic physicians caring for patients to focus on systems and quality improvement." In the episode, Fred reflects on how he personally shifted from blaming doctors to looking at systems as the primary driver of quality and safety problems.

He also teaches Lean to medical students and has two public classes on "Fixing Healthcare" (including one with a deeper focus on Lean) through Coursera.

I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I did. 

Joining me for Episode #351 of the podcast are my friends Joel Tosi and Dion Stewart, co-founders of the company Dojo & Co.

They're the authors of the new book (to be released on November 19) called Creating Your Dojo: Upskill Your Organization for Digital Evolution

A "dojo" is a learning environment -- whether that's for the martial arts or if it's a "safety dojo" in a Toyota factory. Today, we talk about what it means to create an "immersive learning environment" in a workplace, such as a software company or a product development group within a larger company -- the goal is more effective learning, progress, and adoption of new methods or products. It's interesting to think about how one might use a "dojo" in the context of Lean design or improvement efforts in a hopsital or other settings. 

Joel, Dion, and I have collaborated before on a few events, including our Learning Symposium where we visited Toyota and Garrison Brothers Distillery last year. 

Our guest today is Tim Turner, who joined us previously in 2010 for episode #90. Tim was the lead author for a book called One Team on All Levels that was about the Toyota plant and its people in Kentucky. Tim was involved in the ramp up of Kentucky Lexus production and then left Toyota after 22 years. He was at another manufacturing company and now works as a consultant, so it's interesting to hear about all of those different experiences.

My guest for episode #349 is John Dyer, president of his consulting firm, John Dyer & Associates, Inc., and author of the new book, The Façade of Excellence: Defining a New Normal of Leadership, which will be released on October 1, 2019.

John has been a guest previously in episodes #229 and #280, talking about Dr. W. Edwards Deming, "The Red Bead Experiment," and more.

Today, we talk about the book, how to find out of there is a "facade" of excellence, and why "fear makes good people do stupid things," as John says. What's a façade? "A false appearance that makes someone or something seem more pleasant or better than they really are."

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