Lean first entered the healthcare industry 15 years ago; however, people are still a little terrified as to how its implementation will affect them. Six Sigma on the other hand has been there for even longer in healthcare industry. Originally, hospital organisations didn’t know much about Lean so they tried to find out about it from those who had been using it and consulted with the Japanese who have come up with the concept. However, today the scenario is different as abundant information is available on websites, books and webinars on Lean and Lean Healthcare.
Inspite of the stir Lean has been creating in business, it still can’t give us all the wisdom of experience. One area where we lack is the interpersonal side of Lean endeavor. Believing in tools of lean, we sometimes become mechanical and conduct a Kaizen event, create a value stream map to eliminate the wasteful processes but forget the principle of Lean, which is respect of people.
Kaizen architect Joe Swartz shares that lean is about continuous improvement, not discrete changes. All Lean leaders convey that it is the people that are important. The aim of Lean is to empower people and being fair to them by teaching and involving them.
Lean flourishes when it exists in a supportive culture.As a leader, you must practice what you preach, listen to others patiently and remember to have basic empathy. It is important to reach out to people who do the work. Another vital point is to think and talk about trust. Take out time to teach others how to see and fix future problems. The highest goal of Lean is continuous improvement by the people and for the people.