Anu Pujji
August 22, 2019

Innovation in Cultural Transformation

Anu Pujji has written an article on his interpretation of the Global State of Operational Excellence Survey Report - Critical Challenges & Future Trends - 2018/2019.  Click here to download the full Survey Report 2018/19.  


The Most Comprehensive Study of Critical Challenges and Future Trends within Operational Excellence

With nearly 1000 respondents, 37 insightful questions, detailed analysis & insights from 40 industry thought leaders, and the BTOES Insights executive team, this 130 page report is recognised as the most comprehensive study of critical challenges and future trends within Operational Excellence, and is considered a key resource for the industry. Areas covered include:

  • The Critical Operational Excellence Challenges faced by executives.

  • The Current Scope of Operational Excellence.

  • How is Operational Excellence success measured?

  • Key Findings & Roadblocks.

  • What are executives focusing on over the next 12-18 months?

  • What have been the greatest developments?

  • What are the key drivers pushing change in Operational Excellence?

  • Industry Perspectives.

  • Small, Medium & Large Corporation Perspectives.

  • Detail Analysis & Insights from BTOES Insights Executive Team.

  • Detailed Analysis & Insights from 40 Industry Thought Leaders.

  • Analysis of key themes, including Cultural Transformation, Customer Delight, Sustaining an Operational Excellence program, Need for end-to-end Business Transformation, Keeping up with new technologies/impact of digitalization and Leadership Buy-in & Understanding.


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Innovation in Cultural Transformation

“What are our Customers saying about us?”

We live in the age where Customer Obsession is the new ideology that drives customer success strategies for organizations. To exceed expectations and outperform the competition, organizations must become customer-obsessed.

Taking an objective view of how an organization is viewed by its customers is the genesis for seeding the transformation of business practices and its culture. It is vital for the organization to identify its challenges, issues, and solutions to effectively align with its customer’s needs.  Click here to read the full Survey Report 2018/19. 


The question that must be asked frequently and answered honestly is that “What are our Customers saying about us?”

The answers must guide the path forward to develop the right approach to transforming the culture and operating principles. Click here to read more Articles on The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends - Research Report 2018/19.



Culture transformation

Cultural transformation must be initiated from the top, but a broad range of talents need to be very quickly involved. The common thread amongst them must be that they think broadly beyond their silos and are deliberate and passionate about delivering the highest quality output for the entire organization. They share a common vision of success.

Innovation in Cultural Transformation

Cultural transformation needs to drive innovation too — it’s the Holy Grail for all modern businesses to stay relevant in their industry.




The fundamental difference in leading change is to adopt a mindset that “disruption” and tradition can co-exist. Innovation within large organizations requires employees to understand the business, and at the same time, be willing to try new approaches and emerging technology to solve for classic business problems. Leadership needs to drive this and strengthening the connection between junior talented employees and senior leaders is the key to leading this transformation.

In our organization, such forums provide a “safe” environment to foster disruptive thinking and innovative ideas which present unconventional yet effective solutions to classic problems.


This unconventional practice has given a “voice” to the people who are enablers of change and innovation. By letting them demonstrate the potential of their ideas on a small scale through “pilot” approach, innovative thinking has gained momentum in the organization.

It is extremely important that the senior team be the platform for change and innovation, but it is vital that solutions be boosted through fresh perspectives.




What does Operational Excellence look like for our organization?

Simply put, it is a grass-roots movement, a commitment to continuously change for the better and be agile to the evolving needs of our Customers.

The core principles of practicing operational excellence are based on the following:

1. Realization that the rules for success are constantly changing in a rapidly fluctuating market hence leaders must constantly evaluate the environment their company operates in, and recognize the need to deliberately shape the culture as the environment changes. 

2. Values and beliefs determine behaviors in a given situation. This is whytraining people on a set of corporate values may not be sufficient. If you truly want to change the culture you have to change the fundamental systems that reward or undermine the desired values and beliefs.


3. Systems that reward (or punish) behaviors reinforce or undermine theculture. By better understanding culture, and how it develops over time, leaders can be more effective at leveraging culture to drive meaningful change in their organization, and ultimately achieve Operational Excellence.

Every member of the organization has the ability to improve their own processes if they truly believe in the Organization’s mission to delight their customers.



Cultural transformation is a cycle of continuous improvement with the following traits:

(1) Habit of daily improvement in our work and in how we work with others.

(2) Work re-organized to flow value to internal and external customers.

(3) A management system that aligns strategy, performance measures and people development.

(4) The combination of Lean (flowing value to your customers) and SixSigma (eliminating inappropriate variation) combined to create competitively differentiated performance.




Cultural transformation uses Lean Six Sigma as foundational thinking to develop high-functioning systems and creates value by:

• Identifying and removing waste

• Implementing a continuous cycle of improvements

• Creating long-term and sustainable gains


Innovation in Cultural Transformation


Measured along the dimensions of Safety, Quality, Delivery and Cost, our evolution continues today with our entire organization acting as change agents.

To help transform cultures and sustain excellence, an effective Operational Excellence platform comprises tools from both Lean and Six Sigma. By using “kaizen” – from a Japanese word that means “good change” –entire workforces are able to engage in problem solving. By training front-line employees to find and implement process improvements, Operational Excellence can become a way of business life, enabling daily innovation.




The proof is in the results

Operational Excellence works both tactically and strategically to bring about organization-wide cultural change. Here are some examples where I’ve seen Operational Excellence successfully applied:


1. Targeted projects: Reduced excess chargebacks by finding and fixing the root cause of an IT systems communications issue.


2. Training and coaching: Internal process improvement team was trained in Lean Six Sigma. In just over a year, the team has applied the approach to accelerate performance and demonstrate significant cost avoidance by strengthening the first-pass accuracy of operations.


3. Strategic roadmaps: Corporate operations used the Lean Six Sigma methodology to interview employees and internal customers. With this information, 52 actionable improvement opportunities were identified.


4. Full deployment: Operational Excellence was adopted as the Quality boosting strategy for leading comprehensive change.


Operational Excellence works at multiple levels and in many situations because it focuses on asking the right questions, quantifying the nuts and bolts and measuring change. While this is a rigorous process for those not familiar with Lean Six Sigma – the results justify its purpose.

As with any tool, Lean Six Sigma works best when an organization’s staff is knowledgeable and committed. Healthcare executives, managers and front-line employees are the ones responsible for executing sustained excellence and the ones who reap the biggest rewards.

If you don’t lead innovation, your competitors certainly will. Operational Excellence is an area where some of healthcare’s most dynamic change is occurring. 

Want to learn more? Download the full Report.
Innovation in Cultural Transformation


About the Author 

Anu Pujji: Innovation in Cultural TransformationAnu Pujji

AVP of Operational Excellence, Molina Healthcare , Inc.

As a results oriented Executive with more than 20 years of Industry experience, I bring specific expertise and focus in the following areas:
Designing and Deploying Operational Excellence Models with demonstrated results
Organizational Design and Leadership
Enterprise-wide People Management and Global Team building 
Executing scalable Program Frameworks embedded with elements of Operational Quality Assurance
Building User Acceptance Testing Frameworks 
Healthcare IT - Business Process Improvement, Re-engineering and Outsourcing
Customer Service Leadership 
Leveraging Lean Six-Sigma Deployments to gain Operational Efficiencies
Technology Strategy focussed on Benefit Design and Development
Healthcare Revenue Cycle Process Continuous Improvement and Quality Control

Check out her Linkedin.


The issues in this article are just one of topic areas that are going to be discussed at the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence World Summit & Industry (BTOES19). March 18-22, 2019, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort®

BTOES is the industry’s biggest and best, senior-level, cross-industry gathering of Business Transformation & Operational Excellence industry leaders and senior executives.

It also hosts the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Awards, which showcase globally the most outstanding organizational achievements through the application of Operational Excellence programs.

The summits hosts a number of private forums for C-Level & Global corporate-level leaders as well as business unit heads.

With over 150 speakers, over 100 sessions, 12 Keynotes, 9 Track Themes, 5 parallel tracks, 60+ track sessions, 50 roundtable discussions, 20 Interactive Workshops, 6 Thought Leader Panels, 5 Leaders Boardrooms, 5 co-located events, the Industry Awards Program, Site Visits, 20+ hours of social networking including 2 gala cocktail parties, dinners, numerous group activities, this is the ultimate event to benchmark, network and drive Operational Excellence to the next level.


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BTOES19 Awards


There is a strong focus on Cultural Transformation, Customer Delight, Sustaining an Operational Excellence program, Need for end-to-end Business Transformation, Keeping up with new technologies/impact of digitalization and Leadership Buy-in & Understanding. We dedicated two tracks to advanced technologies, such as AI, Machine Learning, RPA, Predictive Analytics, Blockchain, Cloud infrastructure etc.


The agenda is designed to encourage active meaningful conversations though all day enhanced networking and interaction opportunities, including

  • All-day Refreshment & Themed Breaks

  • 1¼ Hour Hot Breakfast Networking Sessions

  • 1½ Hour Hot Plated Networking Lunches with Topic & Industry Sector focussed tables

  • 1½ Hour Roundtable Sessions by Topic & Industry Sector.

  • Keynote & Themes Panel Sessions

  • Hosted Welcome Receptions from 5.30pm

  • Expanded more lavish Awards Program

  • Newly launched Night Summit for attendees to meet after dinner

For more information or to discuss the summit in more detail please schedule a call below,

Click here to schedule a call. 

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