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Wonder Women of Quality: Eunjoo Greenhouse -

They’re delivering a one-two punch to defects. They’re ridding the earth of process waste. They’re on the front lines delivering customer service perfection. They’re in leadership striving to make a difference in the world. They’re kicking process improvement butt! The Wonder Women of Quality are here!

This month in the Wonder Women of Quality pantheon we are honored to highlight Eunjoo Greenhouse! Eunjoo is the Deputy Director of King County Finance and Business Operations. She leads the division with approximately 200 employees and is very passionate about growing people. She has led efforts to build management systems and sustained the division’s lean cultural transformation and standardization initiatives.

She is a veteran finance manager with over 17 years of experience in financial management, budget and financial modeling. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her two young children – her daughter, an aspiring dancer, and her son who’s a race car driver.

Here are Eunjoo’s answers to a few of our questions:

What is your Quality Mission?

  • Improving the flow of the process for customers, one process at a time. Patience is not one of my virtues. Who likes to wait in a long line or be on hold for a customer service call?
  • I bring in my perspective as an easily-frustrated customer in a different setting to our business. I often think about how I would feel if I was a customer of the Finance and Business Operations Division (FBOD).
  • Since we are a government organization, our customers don’t have the option to shop around. They are forced to be our customers. I believe they deserve the best and fastest service possible.

What is your Quality Superpower?

  • I am a lifelong learner. I am curious and I have a strong desire to continuously improve myself and any process I touch. The process of learning excites me and I strive to better myself and others every day.
  • I grew up in South Korea where the culture was dominated by men in power and women’s voices were often silenced. As I rebelled against my home culture, I learned to challenge the status quo.
  • I believe my experience helps me challenge the current process. I don’t believe in accepting what we are familiar with and am excited to try something new.

What is your Quality Kryptonite?

  • In the government sector the resistance to change is the biggest obstacle. We are easily content with the “devil” we know. We are often risk-averse and avoid the unknown. People miss out on opportunities when they shy away from challenging the current process.
  • As a mother of two small children, I am amazed by their ability to learn by doing. As an adult, we are too busy calculating the cost and benefits before we try anything new. We can learn so much from children by just trying things out to see if they work better.

What are some of your Quality Victories?

  • We implemented a new travel process that impacted the enterprise level. It was a long and arduous project and I am happy to be done with it. Is it perfect? No, but I am content with the imperfection since it is so much better than what we had.
  • We implemented Leader Standard Work and we’re sustaining it in an organization with 26 leaders. We are still evolving and growing. It is fun to watch us grow each year.
  • We are establishing a Lean community for our division of over 200 people. We are building our problem-solving muscles by learning together through the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt program. We’re hosting Lean open forum conversations ranging from rebuilding trust to how to have productive meetings.
  • We’re hosting Lean tours. We have been on our Lean journey for the 4 years and last year we had enough to show to start hosting regular tours for external visitors. We now have a monthly scheduled tour which is hosted by our senior leaders and employees. Our tour is booked 5-6 months out. It is awesome!

Do you have any Words of Wisdom?

  • Be kind and take care of yourself. As women, we often extend ourselves beyond our capacity and have a hard time saying no. This is a long, hard journey. If you don’t take care yourself, you can’t be there to help others.
  • Celebrate! Enjoy and cherish the little wins along the way. Give yourself a pat on the back once in a while. As I am writing this, I am making a mental note to do so for myself since this is so easily forgotten.

Thanks again to Eunjoo Greenhouse for her quality thoughts!