Creating Intention and Focus for Coaching by Using a Structured A3 Thinking Process

Presented By:

Katie Anderson & Michelle S. Gabriel

Session Abstract:

“Live less out of habit and more out of intent.” – anonymous

When asked what the goals or desired outcomes for a process are, many of us are familiar with doing A3 / PDCA thinking. But what are the Lean leadership and coaching skills required for us to deliver on the outcome? What new habits do we need to create in order to achieve the process outcomes we desire? How can we apply A3/ problem solving thinking to our coaching or personal learning, and use this as a framework for skill development?

The concept of a personal development A3 or PDCA thinking has been presented at previous Lean Coaching Summits. In order to create new leadership or coaching skills, we need to understand what new habits we want to create and how our current habits either support or inhibit our intentions. In this breakout session, we will share with you how personal A3s (or PDCA cycles) can be used to help both coaches and learners bring more intention to the skills we want to practice and to develop a process for new habit creation. In this session we will discuss how the personal A3 framework can be used to anchor coaching and Lean leadership skill development.

Through a case study, we will share how this process was used as a coaching tool for leaders and staff at a large public healthcare system. We will discuss the key learnings, including how the practice helped both the coach and the learner prepare and focus for coaching sessions, kept ownership of skill development with the learner, and supported measured change in performance. We will also share how the personal A3 process can be used to anchor 1-1 coaching sessions and how it can be used by managers to develop their people.

In this session, we will also have practice time for individuals to start their own personal development A3 and practice coaching with others.

Learning Points:

In this session you will learn…

  • How to develop greater intention and awareness about the lean leadership skills your learner wants to develop and how to support them as a coach to create these new habits.
  • How to develop a coaching plan (including assessment, measurement and follow-up) using a structured thinking process such as a personal development A3.
  • How to keep the ownership of new skill development with the learner.
  • How to cultivate deeper awareness and skill development through multiple iterations of learning, coaching, and reflection.
  • How to ask questions to ask to help your learner better define their intentions and plan for practice.

Facilitator Bio:

Katie Anderson

Katie Anderson is a leadership and executive coach, team builder, facilitator and strategic thought partner. She has over 20 years of experience helping organizations solve problems and develop their people. Katie is passionate about developing people’s leadership, problem solving and coaching capabilities to support continuous improvement and organizational transformation.

Prior to starting her consulting practice in 2013, Katie held senior Lean leadership roles at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and Stanford Children’s Health, and was a consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers. In addition to her consulting practice, Katie is currently a faculty member of the Thedacare Center for Healthcare Value, with a focus on A3 problem solving thinking and Lean coaching, and teaches leadership skills at Temple University Japan. Katie has a B.A. from Stanford University and a Masters from the University of Sydney.

She is based in both Tokyo, Japan and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Michelle S. Gabriel

Michelle S. Gabriel, RN, MS is the Director of Process Improvement at VA Palo Alto Health Care System. She has coached her Process Improvement staff along with other staff and leaders within the health care system. She has been with the VA for over 10 years, serving in a variety of roles, including as a Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Specialist and as the regional palliative care program manager.

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