Well, I had a choice to make. Go back to my hotel and blog my take on the day, or go to the IHI 25th anniversary pool party. What would you have done?
Asked and Answered.
Consequently, blog updates are a bit delayed. More great stuff to attend. Started my Wednesday off with this:
A recent graduate of Wharton’s Executive MBA Program based in San Francisco, Lindsay Beck had been diagnosed with a rare tongue cancer when she was 22. When the malignancy recurred and she inadvertently discovered her chemotherapy could leave her sterile, she launched into an advocacy campaign that changed the face of American medicine. Through her charity, Fertile Hope (now part of the LIVESTRONG Foundation), she co-wrote the oncology treatment guidelines to protect the reproductive rights of young patients like herself. She then lobbied among the massive health insurers and countless self-insured employers to help fund the care...
|Available on Amazon|
Well, [bleep], after an exhausting 15 hour trip home, replete with an anxious medical emergency diversion landing in Raleigh-Durham that caused me to miss my BOS-SFO connecting flight,
I've just spent two hours updating the blog, and had a total lockup in the blogger.com editor in the Firefox browser platform while uploading a photo, causing me to lose everything I just added. Had to do a hard-reboot, following which there was no cache recovery. Starting over. Grrr.rr.r...
"NO MORE HEROES"
Left the Snyderman-Beck Keynote after they finished and went to Dr. Toussaint's presentation.
E5: Beyond the CEO: Sustaining ThedaCare's culture
When the CEO retires or leaves, an organization changes. The culture of improvement can be destroyed overnight by the new leader. Lasting change requires that organizations hardwire improvement thinking into succession candidates. It also requires board commitment to choosing internal candidates with the characteristics required to accelerate the improvement journey. In this workshop, ThedaCare’s former CEO, John Toussaint, and present CEO, Dean Gruner, will describe the process of sustaining an improvement culture that outlives the tenure of any one CEO.
- Identify the standard work for succession planning that senior management and boards use to choose leaders with the right behavioral and management competencies to lead in an improvement culture
- Implement a management system that hardwires improvement skills into all succession candidates
PRESENTERSI have long cited and characterized John Toussaint as "one of my heroes." (See here, my 2nd REC blog post in 2010, or just search "Toussaint" in my blog search cell at the upper left to see the many times I've referred to him in buttressing my arguments.)
President & CEO, ThedaCare
John Toussaint, CEO, ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value
So, it was interesting that he said that their upcoming book release will carry the title of "No More Heroes."
Below, Dr. Toussaint's successor as ThedaCare CEO, Dr. Dean Gruner.
Very enlightening presentation.
Dr. Gruner is an equally delightful man, and is an OLE to boot! I am a proud St. Olaf Grandparent. Great school. He gave me a big smiling High Five when I told him my grandson was a sophomore there.
apropos of CEO succession: from the conclusion of Dr. Toussaint's wonderful book "On the Mend":
In the middle of 2006, John came to a decision. After six years leading the organization and five years fighting to get lean adopted across ThedaCare hospitals, clinics, and corporate offices, John knew that he was, metaphorically at least, stuck all over with the arrows of long battles with physician groups and staff.
During those six years, ThedaCare had sold off its HMO health plan, lost all of the orthopedic surgeons in one hospital, and seen morale plummet. On the other hand, quality of care was increasing fast in 2006 and attracting notice. Morale was starting to trend upward, but John believed his personal stock had suffered in the early battles.
Also, John had a very good idea of what it took to be a transformational lean leader and what it took to be a steady-state lean manager, moving the organization incrementally but relentlessly ahead. He could recite a list of necessary attributes of a lean manager off the top of his head and he knew those qualities did not describe him.
John was a great communicator and a better instigator. He was good at lighting fires, but he was not the kind of calm and steady facilitator needed to keep the fire burning in the right direction. And he was already looking at a larger playing field, wanting to spread the lean healthcare revolution beyond ThedaCare. It was nearing time to go.
Succession planning, which had always been high on John’s agenda, now moved to the top. Preparing for a smooth transition is vital work for any business, but it is critical for lean organizations since so few experienced leaders know lean. At ThedaCare, we spent years building this nascent lean organization and knew that an autocratic outsider with a different agenda could destroy it in minutes. It was still a stretch for some people to take responsibility for their own work environment and it would have been a relief for them to fall back into the old ways, waiting for orders and keeping their heads down. But John was thinking about those at ThedaCare who had eagerly adopted lean, put themselves on the line, and applied their talents toward making real change. This group—growing in number—believed in the power of lean and John could not let them down.
ThedaCare needed to find a lean CEO—someone who embraced the principles and would use them to formulate ThedaCare’s strategy. At the time, there were no lean healthcare systems to poach for leadership, but looking at his senior executive team, John counted a number of individuals with enthusiasm and fresh energy. He quietly asked who among these wanted to be CEO and a few hands went up.
This was the beginning of a two-year PDSA cycle focused on succession in which John studied the issue of lean leadership, created individualized training programs, and personally mentored the CEO candidates. He expanded their portfolios and watched them carefully on gemba walks. Due to confidentiality and personnel concerns, we will be vague about the candidates. Still, the experience was instructive and should underline the importance of leadership transitions in a lean environment.
Ultimately, John’s goal was to present at least two internal CEO candidates to the board of directors who were well qualified, hungry for the job, and committed to lean. If he failed, his legacy would probably be an almost-lean organization, where the idea of continuous improvement had come briefly to life but then sputtered and died, leaving people reluctant to put energy into the next initiative. If he succeeded, the board would have a wealth of good choices and a leader prepared to advance the lean initiative into its second generation.
Toussaint, John; Gerard, Roger (2010-06-06). On the Mend: Revolutionizing Healthcare to Save Lives and Transform the Industry (Kindle Locations 1919-1928). Lean Enterprise Institute, Inc.. Kindle Edition.You will thoroughly enjoy this book if you've not already read it.
I simply must go visit the ThedaCare organizations soon. Hmmm... maybe in the dead of winter, so I can make another side visit to my sister's in Marquettte, MI, to celebrate my 68th birthday in February and ski their little hill. Brrr.r.r...
FINAL KEYNOTE: DR. DON BERWICK.
"Who's your Caleb?"
WELCOME TO THE DANCE
And so, #IHI25Forum comes to an exuberant, kinetic close, with well-deserved Props to the Blue Shirt volunteers contingent. They were fabulous.
Yeah. I wrote a song about "The Dance" a third of a century ago. From my Pinterest site:
I would do well to take my own advice more consistently. Easy to lose sight of The Dance amid the daily din of contention and detail.
Much more to come...