Centering your excellence starts with your talent

CoE with Juan Araya

Seth Adler

Detect elimination; culture stability; fail quickly but deliberately; and anywhere but the ivory tower are all key concepts in this first CoE with Juan Araya. 

Juan was kind enough to bring us through some key lessons learned throughout his Uber Days as he begins anew at Stryker.

The video follows, but a a few key lessons extrapolated:

A double-edged sword not two different weapons

When you eliminate the defect you also have value-add that comes from the defect being eliminated. As Juan says, “one solves for the other. Once you start thinking about eliminating defects, you also need to figure then what is it that you are doing, and you need to maybe look at it more strategically. It's not so much I am processing something. That's my job, but maybe when you look at a center level, it's more what is our capability and what kind of skillset do we have? What kinds of things we could do, maybe even require a little training from our end?” So pushing talent to look past the threat of eliminating a thing that they do to the opportunity of their position when they no longer have to do that thing. It's also you're moving from tactics to strategies, and if you're the strategic thinker, we can't get rid of you because you're the one that knows about the strategy.


Culture stability vs. culture chaos

As opposed to a culture of chaos, allowing culture to provide the stability no matter the environment– whether that environment is calm or frenetic. As Juan says, the key is “bringing the stability through your decision-making process and you're giving people some tools that they know that will support them in dealing with that unstructured environment.”


Fail quick but deliberately

When innovating, do it as quickly as possible but innovation isn't magic. You actually have to apply deliberative process to get the innovation that you seek. As Juan says, “it's not an esoteric type of effort that you need to put. It's real work, and the work is let's design a test. We used to do that, and it's actually designing a test trying to figure out what is it that you want to try out. Try to determine what's the outcome that you might be looking to have and then do it, but again, it does require effort, and it's how innovation happens.” Innovation is a marathon, not a fairy dust.