Top Five Lessons Learned while at NMC Training Services

By Heather Fraizer, Training SpecialistHeather Fraizer

It is with sadness that I announced earlier this month I would be ending my tenure with NMC Training Services and joining Munson Healthcare’s internal continuous improvement team. While I am very excited for the new challenges that lie ahead, I am leaving an amazing team of professionals and a job where I have had the honor of being trusted to work closely with a wide variety of organizations and companies.

What a great time to reflect on what I have learned from my work with the Training Services’ team over the last nine years. While I have learned many lessons, here are my top five.

  1. Leadership matters…a lot. I have had the pleasure of peeking into a lot of organizations in the midst of their continuous improvement journey. One thing that I have observed time and time again is the utmost importance of leadership support of any new initiative, especially a continuous improvement one. When tough decisions need to be made, changes implemented, or difficult conversations had, if the top leader is not fully on board, often these initiatives will stumble.
  2. Your biggest resister often becomes your biggest champion. While active resisters can be the bane of any change agent, I have seen over and over again, the resisters, once convinced, become team champions. Active resistance is typically demonstrated by employees that are engaged and deeply committed to the mission of an organization. They care very personally about the customer and delivering the best possible service or product. With good change management skills, these individuals can be brought into planning, experimenting, and seeing results. Once this happens, typically they are off to the races and leading the way.
  3. Good tools or solutions only go so far; if you cannot get people to buy in, it does not matter how good your solution is. Good solutions seem to account for about 25 percent of success. It is a leader’s ability to engage employees and stakeholders to buy in or embrace the solutions that accounts for 75 percent of success. This is why we spend so much time during our Lean Champion training addressing facilitation and change management skills.
  4. Listening skills are the most foundational tool for overall effectiveness. One thread that runs through the three previous points is effective listening. If an executive or team leader does not have the capacity to listen effectively, their ability to know what’s going on, capitalize on all the strengths of their team members, navigate rough terrain, and successfully problem solve will all be hampered. Great teams deliver great results. Great teams are built by leaders that effectively listen.
  5. The journey never ends. Embracing lean and continuous improvement is a way of doing business. It is not a destination or goal, it is a way of traveling.

I wish you all the best of luck and hope to bump into you as a fellow practitioner striving to make our organizations better each and every day.

Heather Fraizer, Training Specialist

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