Eric Buehrens, LEI CEO, describes how his personal transformation into a lean leader advanced a crucial organizational transformation of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where he and Alice Lee, LEI executive director, worked together for five years.
In a candid 2017 Lean Talks session, Eric describes being hired as COO of the 100-year-old academic medical center right after it had survived a dire financial crisis.
“One of the things I decided when I got there was that if I tried to act like I had all the answers I’d probably embarrass myself,” Eric recalls. As an executive on the medical school side of the medical center, he knew he had a lot to learn about the hospital operations side. The challenge was how to go about learning.
You’ll hear: why Alice decided to have Eric learn, not in a classroom, but by visiting hospital departments; the “uncomfortable” first visits; a skeptical doctor’s reaction to shop-floor learning; reaching a crossroad for kaizen in a central sterilization unit; and much more.
- :59 – “I’m getting fired.”
- 1:33 – “Bleeding money from every pore.”
- 3:24 – A lot to learn.
- 3:54 – High anxiety gemba walks.
- 4:48 – “The shop floor is a reflection of management.”
- 5:39 – Senior leader training begins; “waste of time.”
- 8:15 – Why shop floors make executives uncomfortable.
- 10:34 – Finally getting traction with kaizen.
- 13:10 – Big boss said “sorry.”
Are you interested in learning from other lean practitioners?
The pilot Lean Talks session at the 2017 Lean Transformation Summit was a hit, so we’re bringing them back for the 2018 Summit.