Revelation at the Art Gallery

James A Jacobson.Yesterday we took a much needed day trip to a beautiful coastal town known for its community of artists. In part, I was escaping from the arduous aspects of running a business. We have always been drawn to artists … musicians, potters, painters and writers. Our friends and family tease us about seeing our home as a set of always evolving creative spaces inside and out. (Aka “serial remodelers”)

When you appreciate the process you come to learn the outcome will inevitably be better. Why? Because during the process real understanding and innovation thrive and release us from the confining view of the possible outcome. We resist the temptation to compromise or fail to build for sustainability just to get there!

We walked into our final gallery where we met two delightful artists, a married couple. We talked about paintings and inspiration, the beautiful weather and where we are in our life journey when the conversation turned to the inevitable – “what do you do?” Without overthinking it (my right brain was fully engaged) I started … “I coach leaders to reach their aspirational goals – especially through lean implementation in healthcare – safety and reliability are a passion of mine.”

I thought that would be it – back to immersing myself in dreaming of creative possibilities and leaving the obsession of my own journey behind. To my surprise she said, “Wow, interesting you should bring up healthcare. I was listening to a facinating NPR broadcast yesterday about how hospitals are using the Toyota method to improve. I am so glad you are doing this, we need you.”

There it was again – the source of my passion – the customer. For all the time we spend debating the value of lean implementations in hospitals or whether patient satisfaction should be a focus for our healthcare teams, are we forgetting the true purpose we exist? In my mind the only focus should be to inspire trust and confidence in the people that depend so fiercely on us to get this right.

And then it occurred to me, this conversation was part of the process that will shape and inspire me to stay focused on the best and highest outcome for the sake of humanity.

With respect, Lisa

“An artist paints, dances, draws, writes, designs, or acts at the expanding edge of consciousness. We press into the unknown rather than the known. This makes life lovely and lively.” — Julia Cameron

Original painting above is by James A Jacobson.

Check out this link to my favorite clay artist and good friend.  Fiercely Casual Art.

Beginning With Why

As I thought about what to write in my first blog post it didn’t take long to realize I need to start in the same place I encourage others to spend time. Why do I do what I do? In his book Start with Why, Simon Sinek asserts “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”. While all companies can tell you what they do, very few can tell you why they do it. Sinek uses the “golden circle” as the framework that helps us understand and visualize the concepts.

sinek_circle Another important point – The inner circles, “why” & “how” are controlled by the limbic brain which is responsible for all feelings, like trust and loyalty. It is also responsible for all human behavior and decision-making, yet it has no capacity for language. The outside of the brain is the Neocortex, the newest brain or Homo Sapien brain, which corresponds with the “what” level of The Golden Circle. It is responsible for all rational and analytical thought and allows us to understand vast amounts of complicated information, like features, benefits, facts and figures. It simply does not drive human behavior. Why start with “why” when we communicate – working from the inside out of the circle?

  • The Why is about our contribution to impact and serve others – it inspires us
  • Why inspires loyalty in others – including our employees and  customers.
  • You speak directly to the part of the brain that controls emotions, behavior and decision-making.

It is what my lean colleagues refer to as True North!   So, here is what I do from the inside out:  

LS_circleIt sounds simple, but try it. Think of your organization – why do they do what they do. Think of your role – why do YOU do what you do? Share it!

Respectfully yours, Lisa

Note: if you are interested in hearing more about “Starting with Why” check out this TED talk: “Starting with Why”