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Peel The Onion


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The solution can be very simple, but the analysis never is.

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Peel The Onion

  1. 1. Peel The Onion Diagnosing and Treating Organizational Conditions WhiteLake Data Management
  2. 2. Onions and Organizations • How many layers are there in your problem? – Your organization? • What are their names? • How thick (or thin) or they? • What’s at the center? • Which are important?
  3. 3. Everyday Scenario • People are unhappy with each other – Why do they keep doing this! – Not again! – Why can’t they get it right! • Verifying information is the job description for many of our employees BUT – The system won’t allow that. – That’s just the way it is.
  4. 4. Root Causes • Roots are far more extensive than we may think • Roots have branches – There is almost never a single cause – The several causes may be far apart – One or more of the causes may lie in another organization
  5. 5. Lessons from Medicine (Ideal) • Diagnose (Dx): Pt is cooperative and forthcoming concerning Complaints, Symptoms, Signs • We do a thorough exam and get appropriate imaging and laboratory input • We Prescribe Treatment (Rx/Tx) for the cause if possible and the complaint(s) if appropriate • Patient is responsible for following through with treatment
  6. 6. Best Practices Say We Need • Executive Management Blessing, Support, Involvement • Mid-Level Management Buy-in, Support, Involvement • Supervisory Staff Buy-in, Involvement, Enthusiasm • General Staff ([non]Exempt, educated, skilled…) Buy-in, Involvement, Enthusiasm
  7. 7. What Do We Have? • A Goal or Objective (sometimes a Vision) • A Timetable • Need for compelling Status Reports • A Budget for Consulting, Tools, Training • A lot of questions • Confusion, Resistance, Active Rebellion
  8. 8. 9 Necessity is the Mother… • Remember Angus MacGyver? – He didn’t waste time worrying about what he didn’t have (or he would have been blown up many times) – He started with the resources available • We’re all in MacGyver situations – Few of us act like MacGyver – We spend our time looking for “best practice” escapes – We invest in technological weaponry to defeat the problems – We focus on the problem—not the solution
  9. 9. Take a Deep Breath • Think like MacGyver – What is the result I want? • Can I break it down? • Will a partial result suffice? – What do I have to work with (resources)? • How can these be combined to create leverage? • Act like MacGyver – Put pieces together – Create
  10. 10. What’s in Your Pocket? • How can these resources be applied? • NOT to the problem • To the SOLUTION?
  11. 11. Recognizing the Solution • What would satisfy everyone? • Are there some whose satisfaction is most important? • If the complete solution is out of reach, what critical pieces will maximize satisfaction and establish a foundation to build on? • First ask, “What should I do?” • THEN ask, “What can I do?”
  12. 12. 1313 The 3 Cs…Center of the Onion • Community (Relationship) • Communication • Credibility Understanding these is useful in any context, but essential in organizational disorders
  13. 13. Community
  14. 14. Community • A group of people who – Live/Work together – Have one or more well-defined roles which are acknowledged as necessary and are usually defined by their job description(s) – Rely on others to perform in their respective role(s) • Benefit accrues to all (through cooperation) • Intuitive and Effective 15
  15. 15. 16 The Role Box • As in “thinking outside the“ • What are the boundaries of your box? • How much time do you spend outside it? • Why is this important? – Community demands an understanding of more than “my” box – Communication is at the boundaries – Credibility is built on respect for boundaries
  16. 16. 17 Stepping Out Of “My Box” Modeler Reception Governance is outside all the boxes. Architect Administrator Manager Nursing Clinician Administrator Technology Business
  17. 17. 18 You’re Never Done (History of Boxes) • Some boxes haven’t changed in centuries • Some are new since yesterday • Many are evolving because of – Relationship with other evolving boxes – Evolving/improving methods and tools – Improvement in theoretical foundation • Change happens whether we notice or not
  18. 18. Communication
  19. 19. 20 Communication Society cannot share a common communication system so long as it is split into warring factions. Bertolt Brecht Communication is the key, and it's one thing I had to learn―to talk to the actors. I was so involved with the visual and technical aspects that I would forget about the actors. Steve Buscemi
  20. 20. 21 Communications Secrets • Visit other boxes – Get invited – Ask for help – Always knock before entering • Bring gifts! – Remember Welcome Wagon – Find points of need – Offer help
  21. 21. Credibility It’s about TRUST and CONFIDENCE.
  22. 22. 23 Credibility Consultants have credibility because they are not dumb enough to work at your company. Scott Adams All credibility, all good conscience, all evidence of truth come only from the senses. Friedrich Nietsche
  23. 23. Credibility is Relationship • Desirable relationships such as Trust, Respect, Confidence, require time and consistency. • If you’re in a hurry Fear, Aversion, Distrust, Disrespect can happen very quickly. • Remember the Goal – C-C-C 24
  24. 24. Incentives Vision Skills Action PlanResourcesX XXX Incentives X Vision Skills Action PlanResources XXX VisionXIncentives Skills Action PlanResources XXX SkillsIncentives Vision Action PlanResourcesX XXX ResourcesXIncentives Vision Skills Action PlanX XX Action PlanXIncentives Vision Skills ResourcesX XX Successful Change Experiencing a problem? Here’s where to look. Gradual or No Change Confusion Anxiety Frustration False Starts Adapted from C. Lwanga Yonke: Information and Data Quality Conference, San Antonio. 2008
  25. 25. Postscript • Leadership – Produces CHANGE • Management – Produces EFFECTIVENESS • Governance – Produces CONSISTENCY 30
  26. 26. 32 Appropriateness • Tools and Methods must be appropriate to the community in which they will be applied. – The box I’m in – The box(es) I’m responsible for – The boxes I share boundaries with • No tools nor methods are universal • The problems are NOT technical • The tools/methods for dealing with them are NOT technical
  27. 27. Contact Michael P. Meier