28. “Getting It”

Erik Karjaluoto at ideasonideas has a wonderfully entertaining post on a recent back-and-forth he had with a public relations firm.

The moral of the story: the world changes, and yesterday’s way of doing things don’t always continue to work.  Instead of adapting, some people keep trying the old ways over and over and over.  They just don’t get it.  You can imagine the success rate of such a ploy.

The problem happens in every industry.  Think Medicare’s fee for service in health care.  Sure, CMS tries new iterations of the payment system but the meat of the approach continues as it has for years.  What we’re left with is the problems of yesterday, only worse.

This can happen at an organizational level, too.  A favorite notion of health care folk is that change is constant.  A traditional approach to the health care change issue is to ignore it until ignoring the problem manifests into something requiring action.

Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait…hurry up and solve.  Example given: the primary care shortage, er crisis.

It doesn’t have to be like this.

Organizations that “get it” and make proactive attempts to embrace change can be successful in this hectic, ever-evolving world.

“Getting it” is difficult to define.  The problem with a definite definition of “getting it” is that it’s much easier to describe what it’s not.

Eric writes this about those who don’t, “Again, the problem is that they’re completely stuck in an old paradigm.”

There’s a way around not getting it, and that’s to get it.  Prophetic.

Realistically, the solution is diversity.  Diversity of thought, diversity of opinion, diversity of background, diversity of experiences, diversity of race, diversity of age.  Diversity etc.  Having all these people around influencing individual decision making will improve your organization’s chances of not getting stuck in an old paradigm.

Here’s the secret: utilize that diversity.  The dialog created between all this diversity will help an organization “get it.”  Listen to those with dissenting views, they may be right.

Principle #28: It all comes back to this: You either get it or you don’t.  Getting it means incorporating diversity.  It means being proactive toward change, listening to dissenters.  It means learning never stops.  Just because something worked yesterday has no bearing on its effectiveness today.  Organizations must approach each day with this notion in mind.  And we’ll do that at Our Own System.

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