Merging Education and Business Models to Create and Sustain Transformational Change

Merging Education and Business Models to Create and Sustain Transformational Change

Susan Isenberg (Lindenwood University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0252-6.ch012
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In 2004, a large Midwest hospital was losing money, patients, employees, and physicians. A business consultant was hired to engage key employees in a process to improve the quality and efficiency of patient care. The improvement was negligible after the first year, so a 3-man consultancy was added in 2005 to engage all employees in an educational process with the same mission. The author was the hospital director of this experimental change project titled Transformation and worked with both the business and education consultants. The opposing models were serendipitously discovered to be parallel and resulted in positive change. The business model was the application of two Six Sigma models, DMAIC (define, measure, analysis, improvement, control) and Ten Step Kaizen. The education model was proprietary but discovered to be a learning process toward self-direction (Taylor, 1986). Interviews were conducted in this grounded theory study to understand the perceived relationship between the 2005 experiment and current realities. Significant improvements were immediate and sustained over time. The hospital is currently making money and attracting patients, employees, and physicians and the emerged theory posits that merging the models creates transformational change, but sustainability requires empowered leaders to manage the process.
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The world values change more than any time in recent history. I investigated a hospital-wide change project that played a role in moving the organization from barely surviving to thriving. The process was discovered to be a merging of parallel models—an education change model that empowers employees to be self-directed with a business change model that empowers employees to eliminate waste and defects (see Figure 1). The purpose of this study was to understand the phenomena of the unlikely merging of the two models and the sustainability of the resulting change. A new model and theory emerged for transformational change.

Figure 1.

The Ten Step Kaizen and Six Sigma DMAIC models compared to the Taylor (1986) learning process toward self direction: Merging a business model with an education model to create a new model for transformative change. Note. Copyright 2006 by Susan Isenberg

The Importance of the Problem

All over the world adults face change in their work, school, community, country, and home lives. When asked, adults have the answers to most questions related to what they do every day and they want to participate in solving their own problems instead of being told what to do and how to do it by someone who does not know what they do. Adults seek to learn what they need to know in order to create their own change. Delors’1996 report to the United Nation’s Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) of the International Commission on Education for the Twenty-first Century described four pillars of learning as follows:

Learning to Know, that is acquiring the instruments of understanding; Learning to Do, so as to be able to act creatively on one’s environment; Learning to Live Together, so as to participate and cooperate with other people in all human activities; and Learning to Be, and essential progression which proceeds from the previous three (p. 86).

This research on merging business and education models for sustaining transformational change is important to the practice of adult, continuing, extension, and community education because learning to change has been recognized as important to the field of adult education and was proposed as an additional pillar of education. The UNESCO Institute for Education (UIE) proposed adding the pillar “Learning to Change” (2003, p. 9). According to the current UIE strategy, “the world should be an open learning world . . . where individuals, communities, and societies construct their [own] learning pathways in order to transform themselves and their environment” (p. 10). A guiding principle of UIE’s work is “Three in One . . . [which] applies to the simultaneous search for quality, efficiency/effectiveness and sustainability in programme [sic] outcomes” (p. 10). Because a current focus in the international study of lifelong learning is change and its sustainability, this grounded theory study investigated a program for change (improved quality, efficiency/effectiveness and sustainability), which was discovered to be merged with parallel business and education models.

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Victor C.X. Wang
Chapter 1
Patricia Cranton
This paper explores how technical and vocational learning may spiral into transformative learning. Transformative learning theory is reviewed and... Sample PDF
Spiraling into Transformative Learning
Chapter 2
Kathleen P. King
One of the greatest needs of faculty in adult and higher education today is to understand how to design distance learning courses which address the... Sample PDF
Where Do I Begin?: Designing Online Learning Courses Which Work
Chapter 3
Doug Lynch, Chris Thomas, Wendy Green, Michael Gottfried, Matthew Varga
The 21st century is often called the “age of talent.” Globalization has influenced both organizational processes and employee training, creating an... Sample PDF
Rethinking the Measurement of Training and Development in the Professions: A Conceptual Model
Chapter 4
Victor C.X. Wang, Vivian W. Mott
This study investigated the general instructional modes of adult educators in Southeast China and Northeast China. The study utilized Conti’s (1983... Sample PDF
From Politicized Adult Education to Market Oriented Adult Higher Education: How Adult Education Practice in One Region is Different from Another
Chapter 5
Patricia Cranton
The purpose of this article is to explore the potential for fostering transformative learning in an online environment. It provides an overview of... Sample PDF
Transformative Learning in an Online Environment
Chapter 6
Judith Parker
Technology and adult education are often discussed as two separate subjects, yet just as it is impossible to live one day without the impact of... Sample PDF
Technology as Integral to a New Paradigm of Adult Education
Chapter 7
Victor C.X. Wang
Developing curriculum(s) requires instructors to take into several factors. These factors can be viewed as critical components of curriculum... Sample PDF
Critical Components of Curriculum Development for Career and Technical Education Instructors in the United States
Chapter 8
Patricia Cranton
In this paper, a study of how adult vocational educators develop authenticity in their teaching within a Canadian community college context is... Sample PDF
Becoming an Authentic Community College Teacher
Chapter 9
Karim A. Remtulla
This article advocates workplace adult education and training researchers and scholar practitioners interested in career and technical education... Sample PDF
Towards More Socio-Culturally Sensitive Research and Study of Workplace E-Learning
Chapter 10
Mary C. Ware, Mary F. Stuck
Designers and instructors of courses in career and technical education have realized the value of on-line delivery of instruction during the past... Sample PDF
Diversity in Career and Technical Education On-Line Classrooms: Considering Issues of Gender, Race and Age
Chapter 11
Victor C.X. Wang, Beth Kania-Gosche
This article addresses the phenomenon of why andragogical instructional approaches should work for online learners in the 21st century. As some... Sample PDF
Rethinking the Right Teaching Methods that Work for Online Learners
Chapter 12
Susan Isenberg
In 2004, a large Midwest hospital was losing money, patients, employees, and physicians. A business consultant was hired to engage key employees in... Sample PDF
Merging Education and Business Models to Create and Sustain Transformational Change
Chapter 13
Victor M. Hernández-Gantes
The dramatic growth of online education over the past two decades is requiring colleges to make a shift from fragmented approaches to program... Sample PDF
Emerging Framework for Planning and Implementation of Online Programs
Chapter 14
Jeff Allen, Pamela Bracey, Mariya Gavrilova
Decades of research into learning have demonstrated that learners are diverse, changing, and adaptable. In this regard, the practice as educators... Sample PDF
Learning in 2010: Instructional Challenges for Adult Career and Technical Education
Chapter 15
Steven W. Schmidt
As stand-alone concepts, job satisfaction and job training have each been researched extensively. However, encouraged by researchers who have found... Sample PDF
The Relationship between Job Training and Job Satisfaction: A Review of Literature
Chapter 16
Victor C. X. Wang, Lesley Farmer
This article reports the results of a study designed to determine whether the teachings of Confucius (liberal and behavioral teaching approaches) or... Sample PDF
From the Teachings of Confucius to Western Influences: How Adult Education is Shaped in Taiwan
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