Mark Graban

Speech Topics

Successful organizations have learned how to engage everybody in improvement and innovation. That’s easier said than done when leaders and change agents have bad habits, including pushing change on others, from the top down or from a position of expertise. Having the “right” solution to a problem or the “right” strategy for an organization means nothing if you can’t get alignment and buy in from others. In this keynote, Mark Graban shares personal stories and practical strategies for shifting your approach to change, combining proven methods used in multiple industries.


· “Great new info on Change Management… have a Masters on this topic…. still learned a lot.”

· “Very polished, self-aware, critical thinker.”

· “I really felt that his message was timely as many of us are just a few years in on our journey. It was great to hear the ‘expert’ tell us that it’s okay to not be an expert.”

Lean is not just a methodology for cost cutting. Leading healthcare organizations are engaging every employee in improving patient care and the patient experience. In this talk, you will hear specific examples and stories about how hospitals are improving customer service and how they are often directly involving the patients and their families in this process.

As organizations progress with Lean, it’s natural for them to shift from just implementing a few tools and completing a few projects. The best Lean organizations have embraced “Lean thinking” and that includes the key mindsets that shape our culture and drive the behaviors that create change and sustain excellence.

In this talk, Mark Graban shares key Lean mindsets, pairing the important conceptual background of Lean with real-world stories that bring these principles to life, vividly contrasting traditional healthcare thinking with Lean thinking. Using the mindsets explained in this talk will increase your chances for success, speeding up your Lean journey.

This talk can be tailored to your particular hospital or medical specialty, with examples that will be relevant and engaging.

How does Lean help hospitals? Lean helps your leaders and staff work together to improve patient safety and quality, reduce waiting times, reduce cost, and more! In this talk, Mark Graban provides an engaging overview of the Lean methodology and its powerful applications in various healthcare settings. Moving beyond mere tools, Graban’s talk illustrates the foundations of Lean as a management system and an organizational culture, using examples and lessons learned from his own work and leading hospitals around the world.

This talk can be anything from a one-hour overview, a longer in-depth session, or a facilitated discussion with senior leaders that helps clarify your organization’s plan and progress.

Leading healthcare organizations are discovering the benefits of engaging all staff members and clinicians in ongoing quality and process improvement efforts. Some organizations are saving millions each year based on the small ideas implemented by staff and managers. But it sounds easier than it really is. In this talk, Mark Graban describes key principles, the mechanics of a working Kaizen approach, and the important role and behaviors required of leaders at all levels.

Versions of this talk include short overviews, half-day interactive workshops, and longer working sessions that help you start creating a culture of continuous improvement – today.

In this presentation, Mark Graban raises serious points in a humorous way. Why do healthcare organizations so frequently rely on posted signs, warnings and “be careful” exhortations with staff members? Mark presents a practical taxonomy of these signs and leads a discussion about alternative approaches that identify the root causes and truly help prevent these problems that harm patients or staff far too often.

“Mark’ s lively revelation of the weakness of signage was a fun and enlightening visual example of unclear signals in the workplace. Understanding what signs do (or don’ t do) created a reminder to be constantly observing how work happens now and the opportunities to improve. The presentation was a welcome respite from the cadence of traditionally styled presentations.”

-Cindy Jimmerson, Lean Healthcare West

“I was enthralled by the power of this presentation to ignite some chord in so many around the simple, yet elegant litany of signs and to watch an audience become participants in an extended exchange well beyond the talk.”

-Dr. Mark Jaben

Health care professionals often say things like “we don’t want assembly line medicine” or “we can’t turn our hospital into a factory.” What fears are behind those statements? Do people in health care picture factories as cold, robotic, frantic, unthinking workplaces?

Actually, a Lean factory is one where employees always have the supplies, equipment, and time needed to do their job the right way, safely, every time. A Lean factory is one where employees quickly speak up when they see a problem (or even when they make a mistake) and managers run to help. A Lean factory is a more humanistic environment that produces better quality, lower cost, and happier employees. The same can be true in healthcare!

In this keynote, Mark Graban talks about the culture and characteristics of Lean factories, giving examples of how patients and staff members would be better off with the adoption of  a Lean culture and management system – to help hospitals be the highest quality and most caring environments, as well as being more satisfying workplaces for all.


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Mark Graban’s latest book is an anthology titled Practicing Lean: Learning How to Learn How to get Better… Better, a book of reflections and lessons learned about change, growth, and Lean management. Mark is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, keynote speaker, and blogger. He builds upon a deep education in engineering and management with practical experience working with executives and frontline employees in multiple industries to synthesize and practice methods including Lean management, continuous improvement, statistical methods, and people-centered leadership approaches.

Mark’s motivation is to humbly help others learn how to improve and sustain performance. In his healthcare work, this means improving the quality of care and patient safety, while also reducing cost and improving the workplace experience. Across multiple sectors, goals also improving the customer or patient experience, to help the development of leaders and employees, and to build stronger, more adaptive organizations for the long term.

He has learned, practiced, and taught these methodologies in settings including manufacturing, healthcare, and technology startups. Working independently since 2010, and in partnership with other consulting groups, Mark enjoys working with organizations that are looking for better ways to improve, with leaders who are willing to lead that charge. Mark is also the Vice President of Improvement & Innovation Services for the software company KaiNexus.

Mark is the author of the book Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety, and Employee Engagement (Productivity Press), which was selected for a 2009 Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award, the first healthcare book to win this award. The book has been translated into eight languages. A 3rd edition was released in June, 2016.

Mark is also co-author of Healthcare Kaizen: Engaging Front-Line Staff in Sustainable Continuous Improvements, which is also a Shingo Research Award recipient. A newly revised and condensed edition, The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen: Leadership for a Continuously Learning and Improving Organization is also available. [FULL BIO HERE]

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