Sunday, June 21, 2015

What “Co-Learning” Across Industries Looks Like in Practice

by Danielle McGuiness

In the great Midwest, two organizations are dedicated to two very different lean transformations.

Cardinal Health (in Dublin, Ohio) and University of Michigan Health System (in Ann Arbor, Michigan) are two of LEI’s “Co-Learning Partners.” For several years now at LEI, we have partnered with a select group of such companies by supporting them in jointly conducting lean learning experiments.

All Co-Learning Partners have certain things in common:

a) a demonstrated executive commitment to lean transformations

b) an enthusiasm for collaborative learning where the work is actually done

c) a willingness to share their results among themselves, with us, with other co-learning partners, and with the global lean community

Under the Cardinal Health partnership, we’ve worked with them to create what’s known as their Lean Leader program - a 15-month learning program designed to teach organization leaders A3 thinking.

Leaders begin with a small problem to solve and progress to tackling an enterprise-wide problem they need to solve with their peers, linking it to larger organizational strategy. With a mix of targeted learning and workshops, these leaders have spent the last 15 months learning and practicing lean thinking with both internal teammates and lean leaders and practitioners from other co-learning partners.

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