All posts by MSS

Podcast: Get to Know SWAE and Yuma Regional Medical Center


An Introduction to Baldrige with the Southwest Alliance for Excellence (SWAE)

Southwest Alliance for Excellence (SWAE) members Carl Herring and Karen Shepard provide an in-depth introduction to the Baldrige framework of business transformation and it’s application. With the mission to empower organizations to pursue performance excellence, improve outcomes and contribute to the economic strength of their community and state, Carl and Karen discuss how Baldrige methodology holds the potential to positively alters the foundation of many organizations. The discussion was led by David William Lee of MSSBTI.


Download this podcast: Introduction to Baldrige by SWAE


SWAE Baldrige Implementation at Yuma Regional Medical Center

The team of Yuma Regional Medical Center joins David William Lee in an animated discussion of the SWAE Baldrige Framework’s implementation. In the conversation is Robert Trenschel, President & Chief Executive Officer of Yuma Regional Medical Center, Deborah Aders, Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Patient Care Services and Woody Martin, Chairman of the Yuma Regional Medical Center. The group discusses their application of the Southwest Alliance for Excellence (SWAE) “Baldrige” Framework for the past 5 years. Discussed is the journey through the implementation process of this business transformation module. The group expands on the execution of this framework in a uniquely high risk, high expectation environment of a hospital.


Download this podcast: Baldrige Implementation at Yuma Regional Medical Center


Podcast: Innovative Entrepreneur Josh Hebert


Born and raised in Arizona, Josh Hebert, an experienced chef and restaurant management consultant, started his career at renowned restaurant Tarbell’s in central Phoenix. After five years at the well-known restaurant, Josh’s quest for food collided with culture as he traveled the world from San Francisco to Tokyo. Shortly after returning to Arizona he opened POSH on New Year’s Eve of 2008, and has since opened Hot Noodles and Cold Sake – a ramen shop in Scottsdale with Japanese-style cuisine. Josh has skillfully blended his vast restaurant experience into a career in restaurant advisory and management.

Listen in as Josh and David Lee talk about the future of restaurants.

* This podcast was recorded prior to the passing of Anthony Bourdain.  We honor and thank Mr. Bourdain for his outstanding contributions to culture, cuisine, and the human condition.




15% of Your Operating Expenses are Vanishing Right Before Your Eyes!

Follow the money…

Human Resources (HR) is typically far from a top priority for many businesses. That is until you are short on staff or need help dealing with concerning behaviors. Yes, we all need this group for recruiting, onboarding, training, and occasionally to support performance improvement initiatives, yet in many organizations these people costs are overlooked by executives. According to Forbes, many companies consider HR a “back-office function.”1 So when HR is not visible it can quickly become a cost challenge, especially with recruiting, onboarding and training (hard costs) rising annually and the inefficiencies from re-training, lost customer relationships and missing information (soft costs) typically going unnoticed.

HR is so much more than just hiring and firing these days. The lifecycle cost associated with managing people has been labeled Human Capital Management (HCM). Studies demonstrate that the long-term impact measured from not effectively hiring, maintaining employee engagement and increasing retention can easily catapult and organization to the top or bottom of their industry.

Read the full article

Non-observant People Create Risk | MSSBTI


People can be categorized in one of two ways – observant or non-observant. According to Dr. Dean Kashiwagi, it is non-observant people that cause risk and inefficiency in an organization by not looking at their surroundings to understand what they should. They collect too much data to help make decisions, thus creating risk in their organization. So, how do you minimize risk created by non-observant people?

In this podcast, Dr. Kashiwagi and David Lee discuss and debate this unique and controversial perspective.


Dean T. Kashiwagi, PhD, PE

IFMA Fellow, Director, Professor, Professional Engineer

Dr. Kashiwagi is the Director of Kashiwagi Solution Model Inc., a worldwide leader in improving facility/project performance and efficiency. Dr. Kashiwagi has developed a “hands off” approach to managing contractors or vendors in any industry. His concept is contrary to traditional price-driven procurement. The technology has been tested 1800+ times totaling $6.6 Billion ($4.4 Billion in construction projects and $2.2B in non-construction projects) with a 98% success rate since 1994 in 7 different countries and 32 states.

Professor Kashiwagi is the author of the Information Measurement Theory (IMT) and the Best Value Approach (BVA). He was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholar Award in 2008 through which he is took the PIPS management technology to the University of Botswana in Africa and helped transform a “research based” graduate program in project management. His work is also being tested in the Netherlands (on a $1.3B infrastructure project) and in Malaysia.

Prior to joining KSM Inc., Dr. Dean was the director of the Performance Based Studies Research Group, a professor at Arizona State University, Design/Project Engineer, Project Manager, Educator, and Researcher for the US Air Force during his 14-year tour.  KSM Inc.

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The turn around of Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona


With nearly three decades of experience working in the thrift industry, Tim O’Neal has spent the past 18 years focused on the mission of fighting unemployment in the state of Arizona. When O’Neal was brought on with Goodwill of Central Arizona, the organization was in serious financial trouble and at risk of having its membership removed by Goodwill Industries International.

O’Neal’s arrival marked a turning point in the 70-year history of the organization, and his leadership was instrumental in keeping the organization running by increasing retail operations by 3000 percent during his tenure as the Vice President of Retail Operations

During this Podcast, we discuss the transformation and growth of Goodwill of Arizona into one of the top 3 Goodwill organizations in the world.

If you would like a tour of Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona’s facilities contact Tim at





MSS Business Transformation Advisory is a leading provider of business transformation solutions focusing on strategic, operational, organizational, and digital transformation through our strategic advisory services, and educational offerings and thought leadership platforms.

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Top 5 Cloud Trends

Cloud technologies has been a buzz word for more than a decade ever since Amazon started selling their in-house, web-based service platform that was used to support their own internet sales site. They were able to package the technology, market it and turned it into a profitable solution that allowed companies to take advantage of large scale technologies without the upfront costs to build their own datacenters. Since then, cloud technologies have evolved quickly as a mainstay in our ever-evolving technological world.

New, billion-dollar companies such as AirBnB and Uber have capitalized from this trend by utilizing cloud-based infrastructure to increase reliability while decreasing costs. In April of 2018, GoDaddy announced it was moving a vast majority of their current infrastructure to AWS.

Link to the full article here

Are You Ready for Analytics? 3 Aspects to Your Organization’s Analytics Maturity

In the previous article, we talked about the importance of a business/outcome-driven mindset to derive value out of your data and introduced the “Question-to-Value” approach. So, are you ready now for analytics? It is a critical exercise to assess your readiness before launching the actual effort. In this article I will share the three components for evaluating the maturity of your analytics: technology, business competency and culture.

With all the hype around data and analytics, it is nearly impossible to ignore it as a leader. If you are reading this article, you are most likely seeking the answer for: Am I (Is My Organization) Ready for Analytics?

Read the complete article here

Adapt or Get Left Behind: Realities of Digital Transformation and IT Service Management

“No man steps in the same river twice.”

– Heraclitus, Greek Philosopher (535 – 475 BC)

Heraclitus reasoned that by the time we walk from one river bank to the other the flowing river and the person that crossed it will never be the same. This theory of constant change is called “Flux.”

We’ve all heard the adage that the only certainties in life are “death and taxes”. Well, constant change is another certainty. Organizations that doubt the veracity of Heraclitus’s theory and don’t adapt to disruptive and emerging technologies will get left behind. In fact, organizations that attempt to adapt without a mature approach to IT Service Management will get left behind as well.

Link here to the full article

The Biggest Myth Preventing You from Deriving Value out of Your Data

In the previous article in the analytics series, we introduced the next disruptive innovation in data and analytics and the importance of getting ready for it. But how? In this article, I will share what I believe to be the biggest misunderstanding about launching your data and analytics effort. I will also introduce the “Question-to-Value” approach to help set you on the right track for deriving value from your data faster.

No trend in the past 10 to 15 years has created as much buzz as big data and analytics; these initiatives have climbed to the top of the C-suite agenda for many organizations. According to the Harvard Business Review (, companies that inject big data and analytics into their operations show productivity rates and profitability that are 5% to 6% higher than those of their peers. And Forbes found that analytics have been successfully used to improve pricing, and promotions to optimize 6% or more increase in revenue.

Link here to read the full article

Transformation Strategy and Planning for Leaders & Teams

Transformation Strategy and Planning for Leaders & Teams

Accelerates transformational planning and execution by addressing some of the greatest challenges to transformational leaders. From justifying and promoting transformation to identifying and prioritizing the opportunities, programs can take months or even years to get off the ground. This program will jump start the effort into a matter of days by utilizing proven strategic facilitation, innovation and decision making methodologies and tools.

Transformation Strategy and Planning for Leaders & Teams program is designed to integrate input from stakeholders, drive immediate decision making and develop a roadmap for transformation that is agreed on by all participants. Don’t think because it is accelerated that the decisions are not high quality.  In fact, this program ensures that challenges, realities, and dissenting views are captured and translated into stronger and more informed decisions in a safe and collaborative environment.

For more detailed information about Transformational Strategy and Planning for Leaders & Teams, contact David Lee, MSSBTI Executive Director, at 602-387-2128 or

Program Audience

  • This program is perfect for leaders seeking to identify and prioritize transformational opportunities and rapidly develop a plan to justify and implement their strategy.

Type of Program

  • A facilitated workshop
  • For leaders and their teams
  • Optional participants can include customers and partners
  • Ideal participation is 5-15 people
  • Content is adaptable to organizational needs


  • 2-day workshop
  • 1 change impact assessment
  • 1 week preparation with participant interviews (1 hour each)

Expected Outcomes

  • An agreed set of priorities supported by engaged stakeholders
  • A roadmap to achieving desired outcomes
  • A strong sense of collaboration and motivated team to execute
  • A go forward consensus in days (rather than weeks or months)


  • Accelerates decision making and planning
  • Enables disruptive thinking in a safe environment while also facilitating actionable, reality based results
  • Achieves full alignment of priorities across participating stakeholders
  • Eliminates barriers to collaboration
  • Increases team participation while eliminating inherent bias
  • Develops a shared sense of REAL achievement


  • Strategic Business Planning
  • Opportunity Prioritization
  • Outcome Alignment
  • Product Development/Innovation Decisions
  • Organizational Improvement Priorities
  • Technology Evaluation/Selection
  • Requirements Gathering/Definition
  • Enterprise Systems Implementation
  • Project Charter Development
  • Change Impact Assessment


  • This program can be conducted at MSSBTI facilities or onsite