Doctors Bash “Taylorism” and “Toyota Lean” in the New England Journal of Medicine | Lean Blog

This is another great piece from Mark Graban on lean healthcare. In this post, Mark addresses critical comments made in the New England Journal of Medicine. These negative quotes reminded me of similar attitudes reflected in Atul Guwande’s book, The Checklist Manifesto. Dr. Guwande shows how using simple checklists greatly improve surgical outcomes. For me, the most interesting part of the book, related to how resistant doctors were to the concept that they did not know everything. We see this regularly in business. Senior leaders shun standard work (like checklists) because they are deemed too rudimentary.


Mark writes:

It’s not credible to say Lean is inappropriate or that Lean doesn’t work. That said, there are many wrongheaded things done in the name of “Lean,” when people don’t understand the mindset and philosophy behind Lean.

Read the entire post here: Doctors Bash “Taylorism” and “Toyota Lean” in the New England Journal of Medicine | Lean Blog

Helping the Planes Run on Time: Interview with Air France’s Transformation Program Director

Continuous Improvement team memorabilia from Delta Air Lines, Inc.

Helping the Planes Run on Time

This interview with Air France’s Transformation Program Director is an interesting read from Process Excellence Network contributor:  Marie-Helene Morvan.
Posted:  03/22/2016  12:00:00 AM EDT. 

Air France has a long history supporting the quality movement. I had the opportunity to represent Delta Air Lines’ In-Flight Service at the Air France’s Quality Expo in the late 1990’s. As the leader of Continuous Improvement Team XL, we talked with Air France employees about how we were improving quality in our Flight Attendant Learning & Development programs.

Link to the interview:


The best job in America has a median salary of over $116,000

This is great article from Samantha Cooney  at on 20 January 2016. Data analysis has never been more popular and this post gives an overview of what jobs are hot!

bh 2016/03/22

The best job in America comes with a handsome six figure salary — and has plenty of job openings.

The job: Data scientist.

It came out on top of job search site Glassdoor’s its annual list of the Best Jobs in America, which was released late on Tuesday night. The survey ranked the careers by a job score between 1 and 5 (with 5 being the best) based on earning potential, career opportunities, and the number of job openings in that field.

Link to the entire article is below:

Troubling the Customer: Why is Buying Blue Jeans So Hard?

Why do we tolerate inconvenience?

Stack of blue jeans taken by the author
Lots of choices, but only a few will fit.

Being born in the 50’s, I spent most of my working life wearing a business uniform to work. My uniform included lace-up dress shoes, over-the-calf wool blend socks, leather belt, boxers/briefs and tee shirt, dress suit (jacket and trousers), and if it was raining, I carried/wore a Burberry-type overcoat and a wool scarf. For men in business, men wore suits and ties, and women wore dresses, or skirts and blazers. Blue jeans were for working in the yard or in the garage.

Saying that things have changed is the ultimate understatement. Blue jeans are  acceptable at work. Not only are they acceptable, a friend of mine at a huge IT company told me they the senior manager were specifically asked NOT to wear anything but blue jeans. In my wildest imagination, I could have never have imagined this eventuality.

Bottom line… I have to buy jeans on a fairly regular basis.

Why do I have to look through 347 pairs of jeans to find the 4 pair in the store that are my size? I must riffle through stacks upon stacks of jeans because it is more convenient for the store to display clothes based on their style, not their size.

I predict that some retailer will figure this out. They will increase their displays and they will minimize the stacks and stacks of inventory displayed on the floor. But for now, I will continue to move around hundreds of pairs of blue jeans to find the half dozen pair of jeans that I will try on.

bh 2016-01-29

How Many Legs Does the Average Swede Have?

More brilliant analysis from the mind of Hans Rosling and his colleauges.

How many legs does the average Swede have? The surprising answer can tell us a lot about averages…

How to End Poverty in 15 Years

This sounds like a ridiculous notion, but we have come farther than you may think in the last 50 years. This BBC special will demonstrate how close we truly are to success.

15 years from now, nobody will still be living in extreme poverty anywhere in the world – that’s the pledge being made by President Obama and the Pope. Eradicating global poverty in a single generation is the number one ambition to be announced at this weekend’s Sustainable Development Summit in New York. But is it possible? Find out from the eminent statistician Professor Hans Rosling in ‘Don’t Panic, How to End Poverty in 15 Years’ on, Wednesday, 23 September at 8pm on BBC Two. In Professor Rosling’s words, “Watch the programme and you will learn a lot”.

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Keep Your Career Options Fresh

I am asked on a fairly regular basis, “What can I do to help my career and ensure I stay relevant in the marketplace.” After writing several emails to people with my recommendations, I decided to jot down a generic version of the advice I usually provide. Here are some things that I recommend people do from a career standpoint, whether or not they are looking for a new position.

Make Your LinkedIn profile a Value Proposition

Use your LinkedIn profile summary to answer the question,

What is it about me and my recent accomplishments that make me indispensable to any organization?

People have lots of things that make them valuable to a team, but those traits  rarely appear in a list of job titles. Bottom line, no one really cares about your job title, they just want to hire someone who has lots of energy and who can contribute immediately.

Get Active on Social MediaiStock_compass3

Social media is not just for funny cat videos or for pictures of your latest culinary creation. To expand your career Find people interested in topics in your area of expertise. (LinkedIn, Twitter, Mashable, etc.) Follow them, comment on their work, and expand your network.

  • Get active on LinkedIn, especially in professional interest groups. Find thought leaders in your areas of interest, read and comment on their work or their posts.
  • Twitter: follow some heavy hitters, but seek out up and comers across the spectrum. Twitter is a great place to things that provide a unique point of view.
  • Facebook: I almost hesitate to put FB on this list, but despite its ability to deliver time-wasting content to us on multiple platforms, Facebook is a great way to reconnect with people you may have lost over the years. That being said, it is not a great place to look for a job.

Create Something Interesting

Learn how to communicate for the new digital age. There are lots of opinions on how to write content people will want to read. Do some research. Find stuff that catches your eye and learn to use the “Add to Reading List” command in your browser. Go through stuff you’ve saved and note things you enjoyed reading. Comment on things and start posting content. Remember that brevity is key. Using images is also a plus. Many times you will find great content buried under obscure titles. Use content that is already out there as a springboard for your opinion.

Enjoy the Process

One of my favorite non-fiction authors is Gretchen Rubin. One of her Secrets of Adulthood is,

What you do everyday matters more than what you do once in a while.

Love this concept, especially as it related to how we engage the world. Being a lifelong learner doesn’t have to be a chore. Exploring new concepts and finding new ways to look at old things keeps us young.

So what do you think? I hope this kicks off a discussion on ways to stay relevant. I know I’ll keep working on this issue, and I look forward to your feedback!