Skip Steward on the Baptist Management System


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Welcome to Episode #39 of Habitual Excellence, presented by Value Capture.

Our guest today is Skip Steward, MBA, the Vice President and Chief Improvement Officer at Baptist Memorial Health Care. He is a co-author of the book Creating an Effective Management System: Integrating Policy Deployment, TWI, and Kata, with Patrick Graup and Brad Parsons. He's also one of the hosts of the “Connecting the Dots” podcast, along with two physician leaders from Baptist.

In today's episode, host Mark Graban asks Skip about topics including:

  • Tell us about the health system, your role, and your background
  • What is the Baptist Management System? What are the origins?
  • What was the “model cell” site?
  • How did you create “macro pull” from other sites then?
  • Why and how did they stop being “infatuated with tools” and move on to understanding the “socio-technical” systems of Lean?
  • What was the role of the CEO at that model site hospital?
  • Why is it important to have a “safe space” for “mental wrestling” and discussion?
  • What have you learned about engaging physicians?



"I was just so infatuated with all the [Lean] tools. But as my, as my career started expanding and I went into operational roles, I realized it was a lot more than just the tools."
"Before we do any training on improvement kata and coaching kata, the leadership of that entity - the administrator and their staff - has to go through the training also."
"We do have to get the physicians involved if we want to get our maximum improvement. "
"[In healthcare], I found wonderful people trying to do good work, and they're getting beaten down by the system."

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Upcoming Episodes:

In future episodes, you'll hear discussions with guests including:

  • Roxanna Gapstur: President and CEO, WellSpan Health
  • Dan Varnum: Executive Coach;


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