Blog Library

An American Sickness

An American Sickness

Lesson
An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back is a 2017 book by Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal about the US business of healthcare. Dr. Rosenthal identifies the motives of the profit-takers in the US healthcare market and learned behaviors of the marketplace. Many of her real-life stories and examples leave the reader frustrated in the system. I found most of the book focused on the problems that have developed in the US healthcare market. The book did not have many new answers for fixing the system, but Dr. Rosenthal did offer several great actions one should take as an informed consumer. Ten economic rules are referenced throughout the book:   Dr. Rosenthal shares many shocking examples for these rules throughout the book. She breaks…
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People Don’t Hate Change

People Don’t Hate Change

Lesson
Improve your change process and people will enjoy change Change occurs all the time; how can you get better at it?     At Lean East, we coach teams on how to improve their processes. Most of the organizations we help have dedicated employees and smart leaders, yet they struggle to make changes. We often hear the excuse from individuals that they don't like to change, yet some teams and a few organizations don't have these same issues. Why do some teams and organizations struggle with change more than others? We have observed several causes for these struggles and grouped them into several themes. In our next several blog posts we will describe several common issues and give examples of each. We will then conclude by showing how each of these…
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Start with Why

Start with Why

Lesson
This month we discuss the 2009 book Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek. In this favorite book of many leaders, Sinek asks why some companies are able to achieve things that defy all the assumptions. For example, why is Apple so innovative? Why did the Wright Brothers achieve flight before their better funded, better-qualified competition? Sinek believes that the great and inspiring leaders and organizations all think, act and communicate in the same way – and it is the opposite of everyone else. All leaders and organizations know WHAT they do (the product or service) and some know HOW they do it (the “differentiating value proposition,” “proprietary process” or “unique selling proposition.”) Very few companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT…
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Simplify the Customer

Simplify the Customer

Summary
To improve health care delivery in the United States, simplify the customer Lean Six Sigma focuses on maximizing value for the customer by removing waste from processes. The customer is usually easy to identify; they purchase a product or service and expect that product or service to have the features they want, at the time they want it, with perfect quality at the lowest possible price. In a free market system, companies that provide customers the most value at the lowest cost are rewarded. US-based health care is not a free market system, making the customers in health care harder to identify and understand. Our Lean Healthcare East team has identified customers for our (United States-based) client organizations as:   Client organization Customer Hospital and physician practice The admitted patient…
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Leadership Lessons from Toyota

Leadership Lessons from Toyota

Lesson
This is part of an ongoing series of organizational and personal improvement book reviews. If you have read the book already use this as a reminder of key lessons. If you have not read the book and are looking to learn and grow as a leader, this summary will share some of our favorite quotes. Lean East recently read How Toyota Became #1: Leadership Lessons from the World’s Greatest Car Company, a book by journalist David Magee published in 2008. The book was written to review the history of Toyota’s growth from a Japanese start-up to the largest automobile manufacturer in the world. Magee interviewed many of Toyota’s senior executives to write the book and became amazed at the differences between Toyota and other auto companies. During his research, he realized…
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SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis

Lesson
Brainstorming to assess organizational strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) The Lean East team was recently hired to facilitate several meetings for mid-large size organizations seeking managerial input to their strategic planning process. We conducted SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) Analysis sessions with these teams to discover how the leaders perceived the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. We will share the process and agenda we used for this informative brainstorming technique to help you plan your own session. SWOT is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats and can be used to study a person, product, service, team, or organization. SWOT analysis considers both internal and external factors; strengths and weaknesses consider the factors inside of the organization, while opportunities and threats focus on business and market…
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Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

Lesson
This is part of an ongoing series of organizational and personal improvement book reviews. If you have read the book already use this as a reminder of key lessons. If you have not read the book and are looking to learn and grow as a leader, this summary will share the basics. Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work is a book by Chip and Dan Heath published in 2013. Lean East has previously reviewed their book Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard and also enjoyed Made to Stick. This book presents a fairly simple process for decision making (click here for a one-page PDF of this process prepared by the authors). The content of the book focuses on the 4-step WRAP process and…
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Is this the most important success habit?

Is this the most important success habit?

Summary
Anyone who has been learning and applying personal productivity tools and techniques for many years will have developed some positive habits for success. Many of these habits are probably already habits you are practicing (or trying to follow) in your life but I’ve recently established a new habit I don’t typically see mentioned. This habit is one that will multiply all the others – so I wonder; does this make it the most important? I’ll begin by reviewing several of the common productivity/success habits typically practiced before discussing the multiplier. These are often discussed and recommended, and if you aren’t practicing some of these you may be better to start with these basics: 1.     Exude a positive attitude: It all begins with acting like you are the person you want…
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The Speed of Trust

The Speed of Trust

Lesson
This is part of an ongoing series of organizational and personal improvement book reviews. If you have read the book already use this as a reminder of key lessons. If you have not read the book and are looking to learn and grow as a leader, this summary will share the basics. The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything is a book by Stephen M. R. Covey . . . but not the well-known author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People who died after a biking accident in 2012, rather his oldest son. The Speed of Trust is now ten years old and I have referred to the book numerous times while training and coaching leaders. I wanted to cover the key topics of the…
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Is Donald Trump a Lean Leader?

Is Donald Trump a Lean Leader?

Lesson
The rise in the polls Donald Trump experienced this summer left many people wondering about this business leader. What kind of a leader is Donald Trump? Does his business success translate well to politics, and especially to holding a job like the President of the United States (POTUS)? If Trump is elected the POTUS he will be in charge of an executive branch with its 2.6 Million employees, and Commander-in-Chief of the US Military and its 1.5 Million uniformed personnel. As President of Lean East and a longtime expert in Lean thinking, I teach and coach executives on leadership practices that will bring out the best in their organization. This post will rate Donald Trump on some traits I look for in effective “Lean” leaders.   Trait 1: Focus first…
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