Found myself recently, as I often do, in a lean implementation strategy session with several healthcare leaders around the table. The discussion was centered on ways in which to broaden critical thinking and consistent problem solving methods across the organization.
The caution raised in the meeting was that we did not want to use any “lean” words including the word “lean” itself, i.e. “Let’s stay out of that quagmire.”
I had to laugh when I heard lean being called out as a “quagmire”. Then I had to look up the definition: “a soft boggy area of land that gives way underfoot” and “an awkward, complex, or hazardous situation”. Then I had to take a walk and ponder that one…
Where I landed was lean = quagmire = complex.
What is it that we are doing to create the perception that lean so darn complex? How can we do a better job of sticking to the fundamental and simple principles of continuous improvement and respect? How can we better demystify and simplify lean in the highly complex health care arena?
Those are my ponderings for this evening’s walk. I welcome your thoughts….