Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Loaves and fishes, the commons and Hoshin Kanri

I wanted to draw your attention to a recent blog post Loaves and fishes and hoshin kanri written by our esteemed colleague Tom Jackson.

In his discussion of Hoshin Kanri, Tom Jackson draws on the parable of the loaves and fishes in which Jesus and his disciples feed five thousand with just five loaves of bread and only two fishes.

Read on and you might notice that this master economist and Lean expert also seems to touch on the work of Elinor Ostrom and Oliver E. Williamson, who were awarded the 2009 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Ostrom was recognized for "her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons." The work draws on the influential original article by Garrett Hardin (1968) The Tragedy of the Commons, which refers to a dilemma in which multiple individuals, acting independently, and solely and rationally consulting their own self-interest, will ultimately deplete a shared limited resource even when it is clear that it is not in anyone's long-term interest for this to happen.

For those who are interested in how this might be adapted to health and health care resources, I encourage you to view Don Berwick at the 2009 IHI National Forum. In this talk, he explores the health care commons and challenges us all to rethink the way we do things.

I encourage you to learn more about the works of these great thinkers as we prepare to introduce Hoshin Kanri in our next phase of the Improvement Academy.

More very soon...

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