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39. Strategic Forum

Holman, Peggy Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

39 chris soderquist

Strategic Forum

Tell me, I forget.

Show me, I remember.

Involve me, I understand.

—Ancient Chinese proverb

Real-Life Story

In March 2005, a nationally known health-care provider wished to develop a long-term strategy for delivering dialysis services. The dialysis system is notoriously hard to manage due to a wide variety of factors: high expenses (both operating and capital investments), technologically sophisticated processes requiring a variety of staff skills, burnout and rapid turnover of nursing staff, and patient scheduling conflicts. Also, dialysis is often the result of a progressive disease that saps the strength and morale of patients and staff. Further, Medicare regulations dictate a treatment regimen that medical professionals consider less than ideal—so to provide exceptional service usually takes the organization into the red. In addition, with the surge in adult onset diabetes that is expected to result from an increasingly aging and obese population, there is the potential for demand to overwhelm capacity in the near- to midterm.

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42. Community Weaving

Holman, Peggy Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

Community Weaving

42 cheryl honey

Community Weaving

Unless local communal life can be restored, the public cannot adequately resolve its most urgent problem, to find and identify itself.

—John Dewey

Good Neighbors

Community Weaving emerged from the experiences of a small group of neighbors who created their own social support system. It was sparked by a mother’s desire to meet the needs of her children and thrive. Frustrated by the way local agencies treated her—as if she was broken and needed fixing—she gathered her neighbors together and started a social support network. After cutting through a lot of red tape to hold gatherings at a local school, the neighbors invited school parents and staff to participate. Everyone pooled their resources, shared stories, and invited speakers from local agencies to address topics impacting their lives. They learned about local resources, developed new skills, and supported one another. This created a synergy that attracted more parents and neighbors from the surrounding area. The families agreed to be “Good Neighbors,” pool their resources, support one another, and abide by the “Steps to Excellence.” The Steps to Excellence were guidelines on how to strive for excellence in one’s life for the betterment of the whole group. They shared knowledge and resources, taught each other new skills, and did special projects to improve conditions in their community. Over time, they felt like a family.

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47. The Six Sigma Approach to Improvement and Organizational Change

Holman, Peggy Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

47 ronald d. snee, ph.d.

Six Sigma is quickly becoming part of the genetic code of our future leadership.

—Jack Welch

The Supply Chain and Biopharmaceuticals

For a major U.S. biopharmaceutical manufacturer, it was the best of times and the worst of times.

Though approval for their new blockbuster drug was expected in nine months, the company’s manufacturing and quality assurance processes were not ready to manufacture product and generate required FDA (Food and Drug Administration) documentation in a reliable, repeatable fashion (McGurk 2004). Another company product already in production had historically suffered from supply problems. For both the old and new drug, the creation and review of “batch records” was also a major problem. These records, required by corporate standards and government regulations, track important steps in the manufacturing process. Failure to keep accurate batch records can result in high inventory costs, a potential plant shutdown, and delays in shipments of lifesaving drugs to patients awaiting treatment.

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Holman, Peggy Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The obvious is that which is never seen until someone expresses it simply.

—Kahlil Gibran, The Garden of the Prophet, Lazarus and His Beloved, Sand and Foam

Order arises when individuals follow simple rules or organizing assumptions: Drive on the correct side of the road. Raise your hand and wait to be called on to speak. Rules provide structure and boundaries.

To a surprising extent, we don’t have to articulate the rules. Initial conditions tell us a lot about the principles that guide us. Think how differently we feel when we walk into a softly lit room, music playing quietly in the background. Now think about entering a sterile meeting room with chairs all facing the front of the room. With no explanation, each situation sets up a different emotional response and tells us a lot about what is expected of us. Now that’s simplicity!

Given the complexity of human systems, how can we possibly know what sort of rules will create the desired changes to a system? Finding simplicity is an art of discovery, continually doing one less thing while seeking the heart of the matter. Getting to fundamentals is key. What is our purpose in seeking change? Who needs to be involved? How do we approach it?

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25. PeerSpirit Circling: Creating Change in the Spirit of Cooperation

Holman, Peggy Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

25 sarah macdougall and christina baldwin

PeerSpirit Circling

Creating Change in the

Spirit of Cooperation

Transformation can occur for the entire human race by the one-time discovery of a bit of knowledge that makes everyone different from that point forward.

—Na’im Akbar

Real-Life Story

In a PeerSpirit training session for the nursing administration of a hospital, 20 leaders and two facilitators met at a retreat facility for a day and a half. Their intention was posted on the wall:

“We gather to find renewed vision for the department and develop support for each other in professional direction.” Participants were seated in a circle of comfortable chairs. To create a sense of shared space, there was a low table in the center with a mosaic that the group had fashioned at an earlier staff retreat. A tangible center, one of the circle’s enduring gifts to modern methodology, acts as an energetic hub that acknowledges the ways a group is more than the sum of its parts. As one CEO explained it, “Something larger than human ego is in the room.”

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