Lean Blog — 509: Leveraging Lean & AI in Optometry: Ankit Patel’s Journey from Dell to Vision Care

My guest for Episode #509 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is Ankit Patel, the founder of My Business Care Team, a BPO company providing services for optometrists, and co-founder with his wife Classic Vision Care, an optometry group in Atlanta.

Episode page with transcript and more

With a strong background in Lean methodology, Ankit has worked as a Lean consultant at Dell and the Cleveland Clinic, driving process improvements and coaching executives. 

He holds a Master’s degree in Positive Organizational Development and a Bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering. 

Recognizing talent acquisition challenges, Ankit partnered with a Filipino team to source skilled, cost-effective staff for various business functions. He now leverages AI for hiring and automation to optimize his optometry practice and BPO services, applying Lean principles to drive efficiency and growth.

In this episode, Ankit shares insights from his journey, starting as a lean consultant at Dell and the Cleveland Clinic, and transitioning into optometry, where he focuses on building patient relationships and enhancing processes through lean principles and AI technology.

Mark and Ankit discuss the challenges and opportunities of integrating AI in business processes, the importance of positive organizational development, and how appreciative inquiry can drive team alignment and engagement. Ankit also highlights the role of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) in managing small businesses and improving training and development with AI tools, offering valuable lessons for anyone interested in continuous improvement and innovative approaches in healthcare and beyond.

Questions, Notes, and Highlights:

  • What is positive organizational development, and how did you come to study it?
  • How did your experience at Cleveland Clinic influence your involvement in your current business?
  • How do you balance focusing on optometry with the potential to expand into other medical practices?
  • How do you prioritize where to use AI in your processes without falling into the trap of using it because it’s trendy?
  • Can you share an example of improving a process before thinking about automating it with AI?
  • How rapidly is AI technology advancing, and how does that impact your ability to adjust its use in your business?
  • How do you see AI tools facilitating faster PDCA or PDSA cycles in continuous improvement practices?
  • What led you to the positive psychology approach, and how does it differ from traditional organizational development?
  • How do you apply appreciative inquiry in your work, and what impact does it have on team alignment and engagement?
  • Can you discuss the origin and growth of your new business involving AI and BPO for optometry?
  • What role does EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) play in managing your business?
  • How do you evaluate the effectiveness of training and development using AI tools?
  • How do you communicate your practice’s focus on building patient relationships in your marketing and branding?

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