It was a real treat for myself and work colleagues to attend a community luncheon where one of our senior operations leaders talked about our organization’s work with LEAN. I am always ready to tell our story and what it means for the work I do. This time, I was the audience rather than the speaker. The “top down” part of “top down / bottom up” really hits home when your leaders are talking about the importance of LEAN to what all of us do. It is more than just the area of the organization that I work in now, and there is more demand for knowledge and learning about LEAN than the organization can supply. Cool.
Also during the luncheon, I happened to sit next to a gentleman who used to work at Boeing Aerospace. I asked him about the stories I had heard about Boeing being a leader in LEAN. He told me that his experiences corroborated this and shared knowledge about their success in significantly reducing the time it takes to produce a 737, in part by working with suppliers. I wondered when Boeing might turn to its health care suppliers for similar assistance. Maybe they already have. In any event, it will be great to know that if they have and if they do, that an organization like ours will have the ability to help this and other organizations achieve their goals for their customers.
I have recently been reading about plane building, from the 747 to the Airbus 380. The story of the 747 is an amazing one. So many contingencies were studied and managed to produce the marvel that the 747 is, and it wasn’t even intended to be “the” next generation transport (that was going to be the 2707, the never-launched supersonic transport).
With all of the processes that go into supporting healthy patients, it feels like we are building a 747 every day. I think we can build one that is as safe and of high quality as the one we get to fly around in….
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