Archive | April, 2012

Will a system approach heal medicine?

This is an outstanding TED talk by Dr. Atul Gawande, physician and author of The Checklist Manifesto on how to heal medicine. “The most expensive care is not necessarily the best care, and vice versa, the best care often turns out to be the least expensive; it has fewer complications and people get more efficient […]

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Social media graphic

Our personal journey in social media

We came late to the social media dance, but after arriving have been on the floor without a break. The learning curve is steep but there are constant, invaluable lessons about the new way the world increasingly works. While we participate in several platforms, we find blogging to be the the most effective way to […]

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Unstoppable healthcare reform

The Healthcare Reform That Can’t Be Stopped

The following is an expansion of what was first published on Harvard Business Review. There are few more personal, passionate, and political topics than health care. The reasons for this are clear: Health care spending has reached 17% of the U.S. GDP, outcomes are worse than in other developed countries, and an attempt to fix […]

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Uniting the religions of process improvement

The following was first published on Harvard Business Review: When they set out to turn around processes that have become woefully inefficient or ineffective, most companies choose one of four process improvement “religions”: Lean, Six Sigma, Business Reengineering or Business Process Management (BPM). After hearing about its success at another organization, many companies choose just […]

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The chaos of free floating data

The tragedy of free floating data

We’re getting exceptionally good at grabbing metrics from anywhere, and in real time, too. Business intelligence tools have evolved into visualization apps and as a result, colors, shapes and lines tell us whether we should be happy or unhappy about data. We are awash in ‘cues’ from inside and outside our enterprise. But by itself, […]

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Image courtesy Lean Healthcare Academy

A radically different model for Healthcare

Healthcare is THE topic of 2012 across the country as it few things touch people so viscerally. It is very hard to have a discussion, in fact, without battle lines being drawn around politics, personal or professional perspective. There is general agreement that something has to change but little agreement on what and how. Going […]

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Stretching the budget dollar

Stop budgeting, start improving

The following was first published on the Harvard Business Review. In a recent post, I argued that companies can’t keep their costs in line by attacking them directly. The typical approaches of budget cuts and layoffs usually don’t result in sustained changes to their cost structure — the costs creep back. Instead, companies must make […]

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Get your team to work across organizational boundaries

The following was first published on Harvard Business Review. Competition today punishes companies that make episodic improvements in key processes. Continually improving performance is what matters, and that can only happen with teamwork across functional and company boundaries. A company must get its sales, marketing, research and development, operations, and even customers and suppliers to work […]

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The social currency marketplace

You’re not found anywhere on the typical social web…LinkedIn, Facebook, FourSquare, and Twitter. Is it because you’re reclusive or because you’re hiding something? The person looking for you doesn’t know which it is and frankly, it doesn’t matter. Whether you’re the Unibomber or simply a private person is immaterial. You lack social currency. Social currency was […]

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What’s the big deal with Big Data?

Big Data is the technology focus of the year, and Hadoop is the software that is gathering all the attention of investors and startups. How much is hype and how much is ‘wave of the future’? There is always some amount of hype around new ideas, but I’ll argue Big Data has its value based […]

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Chris in Nepal

Getting work done, Himalayan style

We’re were in Kathmandu last year, trekking for our third time in the highest mountains on Earth. That’s not hyperbole…Nepal is the most vertical place you can find. It has to be seen to be appreciated. We’ve trekked through rice paddies and bananas trees as well as in deep snow and amongst Tibetan nomads…sometimes all […]

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Focus HR on process improvement

The following was first published on Harvard Business Review. To deliver more value, the human resources function needs to spend more time accelerating operational improvement and less time on its traditional administrative and compliance activities. As Randy MacDonald, senior vice president of HR at IBM, told me, “It’s important for HR to decide what is […]

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The Great American Clinical Trial…why the Supreme Court won’t end healthcare reform

Enormous attention has been paid to the Supreme Court review of Healthcare Reform, known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). You’d think the entire reform effort hinges on the decision of a court divided along ideological lines. Welcome to politics and news reporting. There is a background detail that rarely gets mentioned. Perhaps it isn’t […]

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Harmony matters more than getting things done?

Just in the past couple of months there have been a quick succession of articles about high hopes for BPM, predicting BPM’s demise and my own swearing off the use of ‘process’. Why have there been so many articles around the same theme? What drives people to pen such divergent views? It would be easy to […]

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The End of Football as We Know It

First published in the Harvard Business Review. As much as companies like to tell you the customer is king, that’s hardly true in most industries. Instead, major players put enormous effort into narrowing our choices — selling us on what they have to offer. These efforts are obvious in the bricks and mortar world, where retailers control […]

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The return of waterfall development

In a little-seen press release earlier this week, a major software vendor announced the move away from BPMN and Agile development techniques and toward a more traditional waterfall methodology supported by an unnamed new mapping standard. After a little investigation, it appears to coincide with today’s story on the Cordy’s website that that Netherlands’ OMG […]

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