I had the good fortune of sitting side by side with Jerry, who works as an industrial engineer, on a recent Delta flight from Orlando to Atlanta. He ask what I did and I replied that I have the pleasure of training people how to do psychological flexibility. He replied, “You must be a clinical psychologist. I really thought about studying psychology.” That lead to a flight-long discussion about the psychological flexibility matrix, psychological safety, Lean, Six Sigma and heath care redesign. (Jerry does Lean, Six Sigma, and healthcare redesign.)
We talked about “job one” when engaging people toward any system-change talk is to start with psychological flexibility. We also talked about increasing psychological safety, and then getting everyone talking within a bottom up change process. In such a process the healthcare providers (physicians, nurses, etc.) would generate most of the ideas for change, try them out, and then keep doing what works.
With a few notable exceptions (ThedaCare comes to mind) most of our current healthcare redesign is top-down with cost-cutting-efficiency “gurus” telling providers how to do more with less. The result has been burned out, angry providers who leave for better jobs, or worse, leave the profession.
Jerry and I talked about combining the Psychological Flexibility Matrix with Lean and Six Sigma to help with some of this healthcare redesign. We figure that through a bottom-up process healthcare providers, and not bean counters, will create some really cool solutions.
You just never know what cool next person life will throw you way. This time I got Jerry. Very cool.