In the last Lean Healthcare blog, we talked about the process of continually eliminating waste being the first part of the true definition of Lean and the second part is respect for people.
DEFINITION OF LEAN PART 2: RESPECT FOR PEOPLE
Respect for people means many things, many of which fall within the continuous improvement context described in our last Lean blog. First and foremost, it involves engaging the people who actually do the work to use the PDSA method to improve your hospital’s processes to deliver more value with less waste. To not harness your team’s experience and expertise would be disrespectful. Empowering your team members to be part of the solution pays nearly endless dividends: your hospital gets better processes, and your team will feel energized being part of the solution.
Respect for people also means coaching individuals to become excellent problem-solvers. This means providing useful training and challenging every individual to continuously improve. There is always room for improvement. It means leadership needs to become strong at coaching people, not just managing people. Your hospital’s leaders need to be strong question-askers, inspiring people to think deeply about their approaches to problem solving and guiding them in how to use Lean-thinking skills.
Lean thinking also acknowledges that the single most important factor in the outcome of a process is the design of that process; unfavorable outcomes are rarely the fault of any one individual. Building excellent processes lifts everyone’s performance, not to mention the performance of the entire enterprise.
We are sometimes asked, “Do we have to develop everyone?” The short answer is no, you don’t have to, and it certainly makes sense to set priorities in how you invest your professional development time, especially when you’re starting out. However, the more broadly you develop your team to think Lean, the stronger your organization can become. Put more rhetorically by Steve Hoeft, CEO for Operations Excellence for the Baylor Scott & White Healthcare System, “Who wouldn’t want each of their employees to become waste-seeking missiles?”
To learn more about what Lean Healthcare Really Is & How To Get Started In Your Hospital, click below!