I am an amateur cook. I’ve learned to cook as amateurs do: by watching my father, Boy Scouts, talking with friends who cook, and reading about food and recipes. But, most important, by breaking eggs and giving it a try!

Along the way I have learned about mise en place. Mise en place (pronounced something like “meez on plas”) is a phrase that proves that simple ideas said in French sound “oh so sophisticated.” Translated, it means “to put in place,” and it is the simple idea of organizing your cooking environment—ingredients, equipment, work area, and thinking—before you begin cooking. Think of it as the active discipline of organizing and preparing before doing. Have I read the recipe twice? Check. Do I have all the ingredients? Check. Are they organized in the sequence of the recipe? Check. Do I have clean pans and dishes in place? Check. Work surfaces clear and clean? Check. Make sure there is no cat eager to help the cook. Check. Good to go.

Renowned chefs say that good mise en place prevents culinary disaster 95% of the time. For an amateur cook, it is a nice-to-have; for a professional chef in a busy kitchen, it is a survival skill.

In healthcare today, the operation’s executive is like the chef in a busy kitchen. She juggles a dynamic agenda of operational changes and constrained resources and has to balance shifting demands and schedules. Delayed regulations, a new lawsuit, or a delay with an important application implementation all wreak havoc on plans and lead to changes that cause ripples of complexity and management challenges. As this goes on, the executive worries that her staff—always the same handful of go-to people—are stretched beyond their capabilities and skills. She knows that the organization can handle operational change; however, the pace, volume, and uncertainty of these colliding operational changes is challenging her capability to survive the tsunami of operational change. She needs the operational change equivalent of mise en place.

This brings us to Nolan’s concept of Change Enablement. Our point of view is that today’s change problem is not so much the volume, pace, and complexity of the changes that health plans must manage. Rather, the problem is that health plans have not change-enabled their operations. Uniquely Nolan’s concept, Change Enablement involves preparing and organizing for changes rather than dealing with operational changes on a case-by-case basis. Change Enablement gives a health plan a way to build internal capabilities to manage a portfolio of operational change across a range of product and regulatory requirements.

Nolan’s Change Enablement Framework is a key component of our concept. It is a management technique that we use to help you analyze, prepare, and implement a dynamic sequence of operational changes. It uses specific techniques to address the topics of Change Governance, Implementation Strategies and Tactics, Process Integrity, and Process Curation. Additionally, we use the framework to deepen your staff’s skills and expand their confidence in dealing with your operational change agenda. Results include capabilities that can be leveraged across multiple change programs and a long-term framework that improves efficiency.

And just as mise en place can ward off culinary disasters, Change Enablement can help you enjoy better control over your operational change agenda and lower the costs of making and sustaining operational changes in current and future initiatives.

Change Enablement is unique to Nolan. We are the only organization helping health plans deal with operational change as a management process rather than a never-ending but always changing to-do list of projects.
Want to know more about Change Enablement?  I’d love to share more information with you – along with my recipe for Tennessee sweet potato pie. (It uses a world-famous ingredient from Lynchburg, Tennessee.)  And if you just want the recipe, we are happy to do that, too.