Old Habits Die Hard

Improvement Insights Blog

Old Habits Die Hard

Ever caught yourself doing something from habit that makes no sense anymore? Here’s how it applies to Lean Six Sigma:

“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma For Hospitals” and QI Macros [software].

“Last week I went out to eat breakfast and I ordered two eggs over medium with some hash browns. When my eggs showed up, I cut them up with a knife and a fork and then I sat there and I mashed the eggs into kind of like a scramble. I thought, “Oh my gosh, that’s how my dad always ate his eggs.”

“He would cut them up and then mash them down and turn them into kind of a scramble made from over medium eggs. I thought, “Oh my god, I’m still doing the same thing my father did.” Do you have to mash them up to be able to eat? No, it’s an extra step. I looked at that and I thought, “Oh my gosh, I’ve been doing that for 50, 60 years now.” Right?

“And so I want you to think about [that]: Are there things in Quality Improvement or in your life where you’re still doing things the way somebody taught you, and the way they taught you is slow and dumb and has extra steps in it? Why are we teaching two and four-week belt trainings when we could start getting results in a day or two? Teach people and figure out who’s really smart enough and has the aptitude and the passion to go on into Green and Black Belt training? That’s what I propose in the Agile Process Innovation book, which you can download for free off the website. Go out to www.qimacros.com/agile, scroll down to the bottom, and you can download the book for free.

“So that’s my Improvement Insight for this week. Let’s start questioning the stupid stuff we learned along the way, and let’s create a hassle-free America; hassle-free healthcare. Let’s go out and improve something this week.”

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