Jim Ellis knows all about the key ingredients for successful rapid change management in the lab, and plans to unveil his secrets March 1 in an AACC webinar supported by LabLeaders.com.

As defined by Prosci, a change management research and solutions firm, change management is the application of a structured process and set of tools for leading the people side of change to achieve a desired outcome, Ellis, a managing partner at MME Consulting, LLC in Aiken, South Carolina, told CLN Stat. In his 40-plus years of experience, Ellis has noticed that most workers—whether in industry or services—become so set in their ways that they are reluctant to welcome change. 

Additionally, “I have found process operations to be lacking in business and management expertise, especially as the demands in the last 10 years and in the future have, and will, demand more and more business and management knowledge, experience, and a track record of success,” Ellis observed. 

His change management series identifies “The 10 Essentials of Successful, Rapid Change Management for the Lab.” These elements include learning to think, learning to see, identifying and prioritizing opportunities, defining success for each change, picking a team, establishing a timeline to complete a project, learning how to execute a plan and creating a “job jar” of future changes, and how to present a project to stakeholders. 

Learning how to “count” is the 10th essential. It comes from the work of author Brian Maskell, who teaches finance and accounting professionals how to accurately analyze and justify Lean Six Sigma projects. “He found that if one used traditional analysis they would reject most Six Sigma Lean projects. The intent of this essential is to expose attendees to this concept,” Ellis explained. Participants will learn how to apply a strategy for implementing all of these tools. 

Lab teams interested in developing a project should keep things simple at first. “Pick an initial project with high visibility, high probability of success, and high impact to the lab; one that does not involve capital expense, and one that could be completed within 30 to 60 days. Once successful, take your team and replicate your success elsewhere,” Ellis advised. 

An outside subject matter expert (SME) can guide a first project by creating a core competency team that’s proficient at successful, rapid change management. The eventual goal is for the lab team to drive its own success without the assistance of an SME. This is a team that can transfer its process methodology to any change project and replicate success with unconscious competency, he said. 

Laboratory directors and managers, laboratory medicine physicians and pathologists, and hospital administrators are encouraged to attend this webinar. 

Register for now for “10 Essentials of Successful, Rapid Change Management for the Lab” and receive 1.0 ACCENT credit hours that apply toward AACC’s Clinical Chemist’s Recognition Award.