Lean Relevance for All with Adam Ward

Lean Relevance for All with Adam Ward

by Patrick Adams | Dec 19, 2023

In this episode, Adam Ward and I discuss quick insights on Lean’s current state, avoiding common transformation errors, and unlocking momentum for stuck Lean practitioners.

What You’ll Learn:

  1. What are your thoughts on the state of lean today?
  2. How do you stay current with Lean trends?
  3. What are some common mistakes you see with transformations?
  4. What one piece of advice would you give Lean practitioners for the ‘20s?
  5. How can Lean practitioners who feel “stuck,” get momentum again?

About the Guest:

Adam Ward is an experienced executive coach who has helped hundreds of leaders achieve their goals. He has an uncanny ability to identify root causes that prevent organizational growth and help clients overcome these challenges and obstacles at scale. 

Adam has a wealth of experience working with executives in a variety of industries. He has worked with CEOs, CFOs, COOs, CMOs, and other senior leaders. He is fluent in operational excellence, design thinking, Agile, and other operational and development methodologies. 

Adam is a trusted advisor to his clients. He is confidential and supportive, and he always puts his clients’ needs first. He is also a skilled listener and communicator and is an Amazon best-selling author of Lean Design in Healthcare and the Healthcare Innovator’s Workbook.


⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Click here for Adam’s Book, “Lean Design in Healthcare”⁠

⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Click here to connect with Adam on LinkedIn⁠

⁠Click here for Adam’s Website


Patrick Adams  00:00

Hello, and welcome to the Lean solutions podcast. My guest today is Adam Ward. Adam is an experienced executive coach who has helped hundreds of leaders achieve their goals. He’s had an uncanny ability to identify root causes that prevent organizational growth and help clients overcome these challenges and obstacles at scale. Adam has a wealth of experience working with executives in various industries. He’s worked with CEOs, CFOs, CEOs, CMOs, and other senior leaders. He’s also fluent in operational excellence, design thinking agile and other operational and development methodologies. Adam is also the an Amazon best seller, and he’s the author of Lean design in healthcare, and the healthcare innovators workbook. Welcome to the show, Adam


Adam Ward  01:17

Thanks for having me on.


Patrick Adams  01:21

Now, I’m excited to talk. I always love having people on who are working in the healthcare industry, because Lean is obviously as all of our listeners know, lean can be applied in any industry at any time. And it’s just really fun for me to see how the healthcare industry is utilizing the principles, the tools and techniques, because we do have to be flexible with those. And when we go into the healthcare industry, we’re not making widgets, we’re dealing with human beings. So I always love talking to people that who’ve who’ve been in the healthcare industry. Adam, one of the things that I mentioned, when I introduced you was your experience in design thinking and agile, a couple of few other areas, but design thinking specifically, I’ve been involved with a couple teams, we’ve done some three P’s on hospital design and different things. And so I’ve seen some of those tools applied. I’m just curious, from your experience, you know, where does Design Thinking fit into the healthcare industry? Yeah,


Adam Ward  02:20

that’s a great question. And honestly, there’s three P is a very natural application to healthcare spaces, lead a bunch of three P events, you know, surgical suites and clinics, hospital floors, very, very natural place to insert that design thinking where I’ve spent the bulk of my time, is developing new care models. So how do we take design thinking? How do we take highly trained, very self sufficient, you know, doctors, physicians, advanced practitioners, and get them to reimagine how care can be delivered. And so when when I’m working with clients on design thinking it’s, you know, design thinking, one, one of the tools that I like to, you know, like to jump into is how are we best delivering for the patient.


Patrick Adams  03:12

It’s such an important piece, I remember, one of the things that that we did was we actually laid someone on a, on a on a bed, and we were wheeling them through the hallways, and I remember, they were saying that, you know, the lights are just killing my eyes. Like it’s so bright. And you know, so again, to your point that the patient experience is so key so important, and listening to them and understanding, you know, what they’re feeling and what they’re experiencing is such an important piece of, you know, designing not just the facility, but the experience itself of you know, when they’re when they’re Yeah,



no, I’ll never forget this one time this physician told me we were running rapid experiments, we designed a new thing, we were enlisting her patients to run through this whole day, we had set aside and we got the patient in there. And she’s like, I look, I know the patient. I’ve been her physician for 20 years. I know what she’s thinking. And I’m gonna like just let’s just go through the experiment. So afterwards, we’re debriefing on the day. And we mentioned this one patient’s name, and she goes, who are you talking about? And we’re like, the blah, blah, blah, and she goes, who’s that and then we read the formal name. She goes, I didn’t even know she went by a nickname. Oh, she had a preferred name that she’d rather go by. So you can be working with someone for so long, and you can be treating them for so long, but you can miss some of the basics and, and patients really, I mean, there’s obviously segmentation of a bunch of different patient types, but they trust the doctor and they want to follow the doctrine they’d become a little different when they’re in the healthcare situation. And you you have to observe you have to stick them on the table and roll them down the hallway, you know, to get stuff out. So


Patrick Adams  05:00

Well, I’m in being, you know, being intentional to take the time to get to know your patients. And, you know, I know I’m talking to our listeners out there who are not all in the healthcare industry. But you know, put put whatever you want into the term patient, right? Your employees, your, your peers, your customer, get to know them understand what, what makes them tick, what’s important to them, what’s, you know, that what, again, what their experiences with you and, you know, whatever value it is that you’re providing to them? I mean, that’s such an important piece of what we do as lean practitioners. Yeah,



absolutely. So I mean, I was trained as an engineer, and I designed cars for dozen years. And, and then at some point, I said, I want to understand why I’m designing what I’m designing. And so I went back and got my graduate degree focused on market market research. And that became my beginning of my journey to try to understand what the customer wants. And I’ll tell clients today, still, I’m like, the best, the best, a patient or a customer or a client, or a supplier can tell you is 50% of what they want. You have to observe the other 50% and offer the technical solution, because you’re the expert. So even just observing isn’t enough, like an asking isn’t enough, you have to combine those two together, that’s where the best results come out. And we see some amazing wins when that happens. So


Patrick Adams  06:25

true. So true. Well, Adam, I want to I want to change gears just a little bit here. You’ve led transformations for over 17 years across 17. industries. So you have a lot of experience in obviously working, you know, at the C suite with with senior leaders, that organizations brings a whole nother side of of, you know, just learning that that I would love to to hear from you on a couple of things. You know, just at a higher level, what what are your thoughts on the state of Lean today? You know, maybe it’s in the healthcare industry, maybe it’s global, globally, across all industries. I guess just throw out some general thoughts on you know, what you think the state of Lean is today?



Yeah, no, I think that’s great. And I’m not going to comment specifically on manufacturing, because I think, you know, a lot of manufacturing, people have a pretty good understanding. But let’s talk about the industries that aren’t traditionally and so this could be financial services, this could be education, this could be healthcare, this could be software. So in general, now, we’ve had lean practitioners, you know, those trained by, you know, directly from the Japanese, operating as consultants for 20 plus years now, you’ve got a bunch of them are retired the George Clooney Sakers, you know, you know, who brought it to Jake brake and Danna hertz, you know, some of the other stuff. But today, when I go places, everybody has done lean. Right, so Healthcare’s Dunley, because what ThedaCare did and what they did out in the Pacific Northwest, with John Wellman, and you know, some of these others. And so, you know, you go to software companies, they’re like, No, we’re agile, you know, we don’t need lean here. And so there’s a pervasive state of exposure to lean. And it kind of reminds me of that news that happened just this week, or maybe last week, with design thinking, and IDEO, and IDEO, laying some people off and people saying, design thinking is dead. In general, the people who say they’ve done lean, aren’t doing Lean, they’ve gotten some green belt, they’ve run a Kaizen, but their operations are a disaster, and you walk in and it’s 15 seconds. I mean, you don’t even have you can tell them, hey, I can save you 10 million right off the bat. Like it’s, it’s easy to tell you don’t have it in your operations. But a lot of people think they’ve done it, and they’re they’ve already reaped everything’s


Patrick Adams  08:47

right, right? Yeah. No, it’s so true. So many organizations that we work with, when I hear that like, oh, yeah, we already did that stuff. It didn’t work for us or whatever, like, they just are completely missing the the reality of what true continuous improvement is all about. So it’s always funny to me, you know, similar similar to you. Do you think that so, I know the answer to this and I know your answer to this, but I want our listeners to hear Do you think that lien is still relevant today in in the industry is that?



That’s a great question. Because so three years ago, I spoke at a conference and the title of my speech was lien is dead. Of course, I didn’t mean that. But I lien is more relevant now than it has ever ever been. And if if you’re not doing it, if you’re a startup, okay, maybe you can kind of get away because you got some unique value proposition. Or if you’ve got a really cool product that doesn’t, you know, there’s not really a competitor that exists. liens, probably, you’d not have to benefit from it, you can, but for the rest of the world, if you’re not doing Lean, you’re leaving money on the table for investors. You’re leaving good stuff on the table for for your customers and And and we, you know, we have this whole like de I push right now. And I can’t imagine lean without diversity. Like, you can’t you have to pull a diverse group of people together to find a unique solution. The executives don’t know the answer. And whenever I sit down with him and tell them what their line level people said, they’re shocked. They’re like, they told you that. So, yes, lean is more relevant, I think, than it’s ever been. And I think it’s, it’s, it’s, we still have a tremendous amount of growth, and GDP that can be created and increased from the application of


Patrick Adams  10:33

  1. Yeah, so true. It, you know, it sounds like you obviously, stay very relevant with the trends and understand where things are going in industry. Obviously, you know, over the last few years, there were a lot of struggles with, you know, especially in manufacturing with this plus plus some of the supply chain issues and different thing that I think a lot of that is is changing, and the while the whole world is changing. But I mean, where do you go to stay to stay current with clean trends? Was it LinkedIn? Is it podcasts? I mean, where do you go? How do you know what what’s going on in the world? And what would your advice be to those that are listening in on how to stay current with with Lean trends? Yes.



And so podcasts are a major source of I mean, you run an excellent Podcast. I’m not saying that just because you’re on here. Mark. Raven runs an excellent one. I mean, but I like to follow you know, and you’ve had I think, pretty sure you’ve had these guests on like Katie Anderson, and Karen Martin, Baba Mililani. You know, some of the some of these people that are, you know, out and talking. I also coached the MBE students at Ohio State. So that graduate program I’m involved every year, in that, you know, I get to see, you know, all new industries every year, related to that. But I on LinkedIn, I have two favorite groups. I’ve got my subject matter experts. And then I’ve got the old school people that people argue against. And I learned a lot from the comments under some silly statements. Sure. And then I think, honestly, the guy I’m probably listening to the most now is Chris Cooper out of the UK. Okay, I think he’s probably the most underrated lien resource in the world right now. And so but so LinkedIn, and podcasts are my two primary ones. But on LinkedIn, I’ll go after the negative comments just as hard to say, well, the positive comments, yeah,


Patrick Adams  12:26

I’m with you there, I have a tendency sometimes, sometimes to drum up some of those. And some of it isn’t. Because that’s not to, you know, upset anybody or anything like that. But realistically, sometimes, the best learning comes when two people don’t agree on something, and to literally have that conversation. And I don’t see any better place than right in the public where people can can learn from it. And I’ll be the first one to admit that, you know, I’m a lifelong learner, I’m always learning and I’m not I don’t have all of the right answers all the time. And sometimes I put stuff out there that is wrong. And, you know, again, it’s, I’m completely open to hearing the negative feedback or the, you know, the comments about that being wrong. I mean, that’s again, that’s how we all learn. So, yeah, I think I’m with you. I love love hearing that, you know, obviously, sometimes it gets a little bit too far. And then it’s like, okay, you know, what are you trying to prove here? Right, is what it is. So that’s great. So Chris Cooper, you said out of the UK, anyone else specifically that comes to mind that you follow in that poll?



I mean, I really like Karen stuff. I think Karen Martin puts out some really great content. I mean, gosh, there’s a bunch. But those are probably two that you know that I look at a lot for thought leadership. I have a bunch of subject matter experts, too, that I get to debate. And just in my career and in my life, and that probably strengthens me, Dr. John Tucson, and I have spent years debating topics and healthcare and it’s just really allowed me to develop my methodologies, hone his methodologies. And so those, those are not public forums, but it really helps me become sharper. Yeah,


Patrick Adams  14:23

that’s great. I will say, Mike, rather, is now on LinkedIn as of a couple of weeks ago. So welcome to LinkedIn Mike. So if you haven’t connected with Mike yet, for all of you that are listening out there, make sure you go out and find his LinkedIn page. So yeah, hey, let’s let’s talk about some of your past experiences. Again, you know, it’s always great to talk with someone who you know, has a direct connection at the C suite has done work in transformations and again, not I know you’re you’re heavy in healthcare, but you’ve worked in many other industries and some On your time, you know, working with organizations, you know, in other industries, but what would you say, you know, across your all your time with these these different organizations, what would you say, are some common mistakes that you see with transformations? Yeah,



I mean, that’s a fantastic question. And actually, this this year, for 2024, I’ll be on the speaking circuit talking about this a lot, because I see so many times, simple mistakes being made that if we can just countermeasure them, that we’re going to get a lot of traction. So obviously, number one leadership, if they’re not bought in, you’re not going to get it. And that doesn’t have to be the CEO. But it needs to be the highest level at autonomy. So if there’s, you know, if it’s the GM of the plant, if it’s the department manager, that kind of has freedom to do it, he or she wants, that leader has to be bought in that’s, that’s table stakes. But some of the stuff, I think the I think the one of the biggest ones that I see today, is that leaders expect people under them to just go do it. Okay, they don’t have it tied to a key strategy, they don’t want to touch it themselves, they don’t want to learn it themselves. They just kind of shove it out there. And then I then I’m gonna pick on my lean practitioner friends for a while that for a little bit, that we try to force tools in on the situation and, you know, hey, let’s get leadership standard work, let’s huddle boards, Let’s do five assets, you know, Value Stream Mapping kaizen event and, and we’re not actually painting the picture of why we need to be doing this, or, I mean, when you walk into the CFOs office, you better be showing some benefits, because at the end of the day, doesn’t matter, health care, whatever, if we don’t have money, we can’t do our mission. Right. So, you know, if you’re not dedicating enough staff, if you’re assuming technology is going to fix it, if you allow antibodies to stay on. If you’re not measuring improvement, those are all very simple mistakes, when it comes to transformation, that you’re just, you’re gonna fail. And but yeah, those are, those are several points that I see.


Patrick Adams  17:08

Sure, sure, that you mentioned, technology, you know, any anything specifically that you’ve seen companies applying from a technology standpoint that you think is, you know, something that companies should look at, or at least should look at, as, you know, maybe a best practice or, you know, one that’s being missed that maybe should be looked at. So



the biggest mistake is not understanding the workflow of the technology. So there’s CIOs have enjoyed a tremendous acceleration and power the last 1015 years, not the most emotionally intelligent, not the most business savvy, definitely the most technical and they’ve learned the words to, to, to share why they want to get something whether they’re following a word like generative AI, whether it’s cybersecurity, and they found a way to buy things and, and then vendors know that I was at General, I was at GE Healthcare, we knew what to say when we walked in. So I think the most important thing that we can do and we’re leading Lean is how’s this going to impact the workflow, because it should be creating value, we shouldn’t be adding waste to the system, we should be pulling it out. And very, very rarely do I see an analysis post that goes in and says, Yeah, we got this done. So like just launching an ERP, because everyone else is or buying epic, because everyone else is. No, those are those who are mistakes, or jumping on a bandwagon. And just not understanding how it’s going to impact your customers. Just because you want to use the term I think is probably where I see the most mistakes. But the companies that are thoughtful about it, to understand their customers that know where they’re coming from, they go and search out technologies instead of having them come to find them. Those are really the big winners.


Patrick Adams  18:59

Yeah, no, that’s good advice, for sure. And obviously, it depends on the size of the organization and the location, and but definitely to you know, even to your earlier point around keeping an eye on on lean trends. I mean, technology is changing so quickly. And if you’re if you don’t have someone focused on looking for best practices, or watching the direction of of the changes that are happening, I mean, I think that’s a miss to date, you know, just just



not I mean, if you’re not using AI extensively, you’ve missed, right, I mean, you’re throwing tons of money away and not all of everything out there, that’s good, but there’s a lot out there that I mean, that’s it’s no brainer stuff to get in and some of you probably even using it through your vendors and you don’t even know it. Right,


Patrick Adams  19:49

right. Well, and there has to be I just put an article out a couple of weeks ago, maybe it was last week, just around the the importance of also You know, paying attention to the, the manual side of things when it, you know, they, obviously technology is important and we want to utilize technology and stay with current with the trends and be, you know, up to date on and on our, on our technology, but also, I don’t want to lose the power that there is in our mind in human minds and human, you know, emotions and thoughts and ideas. And so there has to be a, you know, a partnership between the two, you know, and I think that that’s also important too. Oh, absolutely,



absolutely. I mean, I look, I’ll use Bart or Chad GPT, or whatever, to compose an email or a blog post. But if I just process that through it’s junk. You know, because there has to be some creative edge to it, there needs to be, you know, my viewpoint, my energy behind it. And then this is just simple text stuff, right? You know, you know, there’s all kinds of, you know, other things that you can you can use AI for, but man, if, if you’re not enhancing it as a human, then you’re missing out a lot.


Patrick Adams  21:07

Yeah, so true. So true. So I think about my listener base, and I know that I have a large number of people that are, you know, in their 40s and 50s, listening. But I also have a large base of younger, lean practitioners that are just getting into their careers coming out of college, whatever it may be, and, you know, just starting to get involved with a company, and you know, maybe they’re in healthcare, maybe they’re in manufacturing. And, and I’d love to increase that number, because I want more young people to understand the power of lean and continuous improvement. So if you were speaking to, you know, a group of younger lean practitioners, what would be one piece of advice that you would give them?



Don’t use the word lean? Okay. That’s good. And I think because the 40 somethings in the, the Gen Xers are gonna say we’ve done that, or I had, I tried to, I think they would be more impactful if they snuck the tools in getting the bosses, what they wanted the target, you know, the KPIs that the bosses are out. And then if they ask them what they do, they say, Well, I found the standard work form, you know, or I did this process flowchart. And I found, you know, waste here, here, and here, I think it’d be easier for them to gain traction. Now, if they’re in an organization that already has a Lean culture, then you need to dive in hardcore, you know, get gets certified, have meaningful projects, but show actual results, you know, like a Six Sigma, if you’re doing the DMAIC process, make sure your control is its control. It we don’t want it bouncing back up, you know, whenever I run a Kaizen event, or, you know, the value stream map, I want to make, I want to watch that metric for months, not weeks, not days, but for months to make sure that we actually addressed the root cause. So the younger guys, I’d say, maybe hide it, but learn the tools and apply it really well. You’ll know better if you’re getting traction with your boss, if he likes the word lean, or if it doesn’t, but the principles work periods.


Patrick Adams  23:21

That’s so true, Adam, and in such good advice, you know, I’ll stand behind that I worked with an organization, I think I’ve talked about this before, but they struggled with Lean terms terminology, because of some past issues that they had with external consultants or whatever it might have been. And, you know, I have this, this internal manager who kept wanting to use tack time as a, and, you know, I kept kind of coaching him on, you know, do we really want to use that word, because, you know, tact is generally associated with lien, and we know that we have some struggles or some issues with that. And, you know, I saw I suggested instead of using the word tack time, the words tack time, let’s use, you know, customer demand rate. And so that’s what we did, and that resonated really well with the group and you know, so you have to know your, your, your customer, you have to know you’re working with and understand in tweak, be flexible tweak, I mean, what did did they have less value by calling into customer demand, right? Outcome, right. So what I did was I met them where they were at knowing who they were and, and so you’re gonna be able to move a lot quicker and have much more getting much more traction if you know and are willing to adjust, you know, for for your your clients. So absolutely. Stories of, you know, where you’ve had to make an adjustment or or or, you know, be be willing to be flexible with the tools with any clients that you’ve worked with? Oh, my



goodness. So Well, I think the Japanese terms in general and healthcare aren’t well accepted. So I try not to use them at all, unless they’ve been introduced to it. And then if I find a misapplication, so let’s just say five s, or six s, or some places, I think they’re at the seven or eight now, and this like, okay, let’s just use the term organized. And as a lien as a lien fundamentalist, I know that’s not what it is. But let’s just call it that, okay. And so, you know, whether, say, we’re going to run an improvement event, instead of a Kaizen or we’re going to get breakthrough results in, you know, a couple of days. You know, some places, I’ll go and just tell them, hey, let’s just call cucumber, we’ll work with cucumber, you guys will generate a phrase during this week that I’m here. And we’re going to stick with that phrase. Yeah. And then so the, I’ll just go in and wait to hear what they to hear how they describe it, like, well, I’m doing reflections. And then I’ll post the notes, what you learn what went, well, what didn’t, those things are brilliant to pull into terms. You know, you can say, Okay, we’re gonna call it this. And if you want to go research, if you want to go look at the literature, then this is what the term they use, they call it but I mean, I’m extremely, extremely flexible. And I know a lot of my colleagues, like, want to hang me for that. But it’s the same pool. I’m just, I’m just calling it something else.


Patrick Adams  26:33

Right? Oh, absolutely. That’s, that’s good. Yeah, I think I’m in complete agreement with the I think that we have to be willing to, to be flexible with the terms. And, you know, sometimes organizations have their own language, their own acronyms and their own language that they use. And, you know, working with at this sweet, sweet C suite, or with executive leaders, the first step is really finding out what’s important to them, what are they trying to achieve, and then, you know, try to use their, whether it’s, you know, their language or their, whatever it is that they want to achieve, trying to fit that in somehow. But I mean, that ultimately, that’s what we’re, that’s what we’re trying to do is get them to buy into it, and then you know, move ahead. So whatever you have to do, as long as you’re improving, you know, that’s what I mean. So



for instance, I’m at Mayo Clinic right now. That’s one of my clients, and they have a very rich heritage. And they have something called Rich ties. And those are their key values that they want to espouse. Well, if I’m gonna bring in Shinku, jitsu values, right, they’re gonna say, Well, we have these rich ties. So I’m just going to look at the alignment between the between, you know, between the different values, and I’m going to use their terms. And they, and they just bought in way faster that way? Absolutely.


Patrick Adams  27:56

That’s a great example, for sure. And, again, you can try to push the other side, but it’s going to create confusion, and then slow things are going to be slower. So that’s such great advice, for sure. So let’s go the other direction, Adam. You know, what if we were talking to the older generation, or you know, I don’t know, maybe it is, you know, some some younger lean practitioners. But what about Lean practitioners that have been doing this for a while, and they, they feel stuck, like they’ve they’ve hit a wall, they’re not getting the support that they were getting before? Or maybe it’s something individually that they are just having a hard time moving? Moving ahead on things? How do they how do you what would your suggestions be around getting momentum? For someone like that?



Yeah, I see a lot of this among my fellow Gen Xers. I mean, there’s some maybe older millennials that are, you know, suffer from this, but I see a lot of my Gen X colleagues going through the same thing, and they’re very knowledgeable on the tools. But, and they’re comfortable in their role. They’ve been in their job for a while. And I think they, they’ve lost a voice of authority amongst their peers, they’re not communicating at the executive level, and it’s kind of pigeon holed them off to the side. So the most drastic move and a lot of times this is not because they’re like, Well, I’m gonna retire in 10 or 15 years is just switch to switch roles, get get into an operational role, get, you know, switch switch companies, okay? Let’s say that’s not viable. Okay? If you want to do it, start from the basics, you’re gonna have to do grassroots, you’re gonna have to run some projects that get the attention of the executives in that division in that area. And once you do that, they’re going to want to know how and why. So that I mean, look, I’m an outsider I come in, sometimes, companies embrace me sometimes they don’t for two years. Before they say, Hey, you’re, you know, you’re, you’re one of us now. But every single time, I can find out what they want in an hour conversation, and if I can apply the tools from that conversation, so, you know, Gen X, or whoever feel like they’re getting stuck, talk to a leader, find out what metric is driving them nuts that they’re having this day up with, and it may not be a lien metric, and then create a project or a set of improvement deliverables that can impact that, and you’re gonna get transit, you’re gonna get traction immediately. You just are, and or go to a conference and get excited by someone again. Yeah. You know, there’s, there’s people and you know, we can use the youth out there that are there, you know, get excited about stuff, but people that are passionate about, you know, things, you know, it’s it’s fun to be around others that inspire you. And it’s easy to say, we’ve been all the conferences, I’ve read all the books, I’ve seen all the people, but just, you know, just the hidden like a mini me, you start calling your mid mid career crisis.


Patrick Adams  31:03

Now that’s so true, though. I mean, I love going to conferences, for that exact reason. It’s, you know, obviously, I’m always looking to learn, I’m a lifelong learner. I’m always looking to learn and, but also the excitement of being around people that are moving in the same direction as I am, and, you know, speak the same language and get excited about the same things. I mean, there’s, there’s a, there’s a lot of really great lean geeks



out there, we have a big tribe, we have surround yourself with other lean


Patrick Adams  31:33

geeks yet and a lot of fun. So it’s, it’s it’s definitely a good thing. For sure. So yeah, that’s great. Just kind of bringing this full circle back around. You know, we I mentioned earlier that you have an Amazon best selling book, specifically talking about design in healthcare, and then also the healthcare innovators book. Tell us a little bit about that book, what what was the motivation behind it? And you know, who are you? Who are you looking to reach? What’s the purpose behind it? Just fill us in on that. Yeah.



So I left industry in 2006. And my boss at my consulting firm said, apply all of this to health care. And I said, No, it won’t work. And he kept bugging me, you apply this to healthcare, apply the development process to health care. And so he kept counted, I started running experiments across the US with different health systems, we got a couple, and we got one or two that worked out really well, and said, Okay, now if we were to make that a process to provide systemic innovation, now I’m defining innovation, as you know, obsoleting, a product or service and having it replaced with a new one. So in health care’s case, care models, there were at the time of me writing that book, only two examples of systemic innovation that wasn’t technology related in the United States, very low amount, Cleveland Clinic was one of them. I can’t remember who the other one was off the top of my head. So I wrote that book with the sole purpose of healthcare companies saying, if we want to do systemic innovation, if we want to create new care models, if we want to be able to go with value based care if we want to go with population health, if we want to be able to adapt, if we want to be able to survive our supply chain disruptions, during pandemics, this is the process. I wrote it as an allegory. And then I have an accompaniment workbook that goes with it, basically all the exercises to do that, so that companies can say, Okay, we get it. This is how we should do systemic innovation within healthcare delivery.


Patrick Adams  33:40

Yeah, I love it. Love it. That’s great. And obviously, you know, the, for the healthcare industry, do you think are there any ones specifically in the healthcare industry, any specific roles or people that would benefit from this or just anyone that’s has any position in the healthcare industry? Yeah.



So this is a very tough, you know, we incorporated this in the catalysis framework, you know, through our debates with the doctor to sign and so that’s in catalysis has it built into their framework now? It’s very tough for people to adopt, especially right now because healthcare is just been decimated by the pandemic, you know, the costs going up everything but if someone were to want it, I usually find it in a couple places chief medical officer, because there’s something that the new that they want to try. Actually the CEO Oh, you would think would be excellent. Kinda doesn’t necessarily want it because when it comes push to shove, they’re going to care more about what the hospitals doing that day than what the hospital or lack of a hospital is going to do tomorrow. Chief Nursing nursing officers a good one CFO, always a great, great place to start. But I’ve found the most traction between probably like, doctor nurse practitioner area like that’s those people get it, they want to do it. And that’s where I see the most built medically home. If you go look up medically home absolutely brilliant story. It was we started work with Atreus doing care for elderly, fantastic physician Dr. Pippa Eliza showman, and then she ended up leaving Atreus and joining medically home and they’ve just blown up across the US. amazing example of applying these principles.


Patrick Adams  35:44

Love it, love it. Good examples. So if someone wanted to find your book, I’m guessing it’s on Amazon. Yeah,



you can check it out on Amazon or Rutledge. Yeah, it’s okay.


Patrick Adams  35:58

So just search lean design and healthcare should pop right up Adam Ward, what we’ll also do is we’ll drop a link in the show notes for for the book if you’re interested to go out and grab that. Adam, how would people get a hold of you if they’re interested to connect or have questions outside of the book? Yeah,



that’s a great question. And I want to make sure that it is written lean design in healthcare. But the publishers asked me to create lean design and manufacturing lean design of software 85% of the principles in there aren’t going to work. And so if you’re like I’m hearing healthcare, but I’m turned off, just get the book. It’s fun, easy, short read, to get if you want to get ahold of me, innovation, Adam on LinkedIn is probably the easiest. I do have a website Adam M ward.com. Mainly for speaking engagements. You can also, you know, get a hold of me there, but LinkedIn on the most responsive, but you can also go through my website as well.


Patrick Adams  36:54

Perfect. Well, we’ll we’ll put all those links in the show notes. So if anyone is interested to reach out, you’ll be able to get the link there. Adam, it’s been great to have you on. Great conversations. Love your your thoughts on on lean trends, the state lean today, lean been relevant. But obviously, you know, the work that you’ve done across the different industries that you’ve worked in, just appreciate your work and appreciate being on the show. We’ll have to do this again at some point.


Adam Ward  37:22

Oh, man, thank you so much anytime you’ve been an excellent host. Thank you. Thank you.


Meet Patrick

Patrick is an internationally recognized leadership coach, consultant, and professional speaker, best known for his unique human approach to sound team-building practices; creating consensus and enabling empowerment. He founded his consulting practice in 2018 to work with leaders at all levels and organizations of all sizes to achieve higher levels of performance. He motivates, inspires, and drives the right results at all points in business processes.

Patrick has been delivering bottom-line results through specialized process improvement solutions for over 20 years. He’s worked with all types of businesses from private, non-profit, government, and manufacturing ranging from small business to billion-dollar corporations.