Excellence in the Mundane

Last night was my bi-monthly pub session with a couple of long time colleagues and thought leaders.   Our conversation focused on the phenomenon of leaders focusing too much attention on the new and exciting initiatives, technologies, strategies, etc. Not to say that the newest and greatest advancements in healthcare should not be adopted, but what we seem to continue to lose sight of is the perspective of the patient.   Our focus seems a bit out of balance.

In my experience, patients are keenly interested in the most fundamental elements of good, safe healthcare.  They are thrilled when we surprise and delight them by providing excellent care on a relentlessly consistent basis.

To achieve the above, it seems that we need to spend far more time focusing on how the front lines are taking the waste out of the day-to-day “mundane” processes that patients regularly encounter.  This is a tough ask for senior leaders to pay attention to; this is not the flashy new initiative; this doesn’t happen in the conference room or executive office.

This is all about leaders regularly going to the gemba and seeing the daily work.   This is about leaders understanding the standard and reliable processes that create great results.  This is a different kind of phenomenon where the leaders are promoting, fostering and rewarding excellence in the day-to-day mundane.


3 thoughts on “Excellence in the Mundane

  1. Well written and “on point” observation…glad to see you sharing your insight with the masses!

  2. Darryl, Thank you for the add to my comments. Agree fully with our teams needing both from us depending on the situation at hand. – Karl

  3. As a leader, I have continually struggled with achieving the balance between the brass band of the cutting edge and the quiet singular focus required to continually improve the day-to-day non-sexy mundane that Karl talks about. As in most cases, it requires an understanding of situational leadership. Our teams need both from us. There are times they need us to take the spotlight, engage the audience and tell the story and times we need disappear backstage, run the lights and shine them on our teams. I enjoy both, but derive the deepest satisfaction when the teams shine in the customer’s eyes.

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