Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Sam Shields, Director, Operational Excellence, Dartmouth-Hitchcock

Today’s guest is Sam Shields, the Director of Operational Excellence at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health System. In his role as Director, Sam provides leadership and strategic planning for the Value Institute. He has oversight of Performance Improvement, the Project Management Office, and the The Value Institute Learning Center.  He is responsible for developing programs and partnerships to improve patient outcomes and drive the organizational culture of the largest system in New Hampshire, with a reach of over 2 million people, toward operational excellence.

In this podcast we talk about Sam’s career, which began as a chemical engineer working in specialty chemicals. Through experiences in a variety of manufacturing and production roles, Sam became an expert in supply chain management and quality and performance improvement. Like many of my guests, Sam’s road to serving in health care was circuitous. When he joined the Dartmouth-Hitchcock team in 2009 and returned again in 2013, he brought his extensive and diverse experience to bear on improving the functioning of the organization.
Extended version:
Abridged version:

Podcast Outline (this timeline refers to the extended version)

Time       Topic 

0:01:58 University of Massachusetts/Amherst, Chemical Engineering
0:03:11 learning process improvement at Cabot Corporation in Pampa, TX as a production engineer
0:08:10 root cause analysis
0:09:31 the basic tenets of quality management
0:10:41 transition to supervision
0:12:29 MBA - choosing management over technical career
0:13:29 Global Supply Chain Manager for Cabot
0:16:39 Timkin Aerospace Corporation - Supply Chain/Materials Manager
0:17:55 comparing quality management between Cabot and Timkin
0:18:50 comparing organizational culture
0:20:18 Lean Six Sigma at Timkin
0:21:55 flow vs. job shop
0:23:12 kanban
0:23:46 value stream
0:24:58 first time as manager of multiple departments
0:26:44 Momenta - VP of Operations, lessons learned
0:29:46 Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health System
0:31:36 supply chain management for Dartmouth-Hitchcock
0:33:46 transition to healthcare - importance of relationships and credibility
0:38:14 quality management at D-H 
0:39:36 applying prior experience to healthcare
0:40:42 Labsphere - back to manufacturing
0:43:44 returning to Dartmouth-Hitchcock and The Value Institute
0:45:42 the LSS belt structure and certification
0:51:15 getting blackbelt certification
0:51:57 transition to quality vs. supply chain
0:52:53 D-H Sepsis Project and clinical process improvement
1:00:34 advising clinicians as a non-clinician
1:02:39 what allows an effective project to happen
1:04:04 Operational Excellence
1:07:19 journey mapping - voice of the customer
1:09:03 departments under Pperational Excellence
1:10:37 Six Sigma vs. Lean
1:12:24 the influence of previous roles on today
1:14:16 concerns as the Director
1:15:16 leadership philosophy
1:17:09 influences on his leadership philosophy
1:18:37 what does he look for when hiring a leader?
1:20:22 reflecting on lessons learned "the hard way"
1:22:28 where junior leaders go wrong
1:23:43 the importance of professional organizations
1:25:32 book recommendations
1:26:41 advice for early careerists

Links to Topics Discussed

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health System

The Value Institute

Labsphere, Inc.


Cabot Corporation

American Society for Quality

National Association for Healthcare Quality

University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Department of Chemical Engineering

Book recommendation:
Execution - the Discipline of Getting Things Done

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