Changing Corporate Behavior–It Ain’t Easy

August 18, 2014

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As Marshall Goldsmith wrote, “What got you here won’t get you there.”

If your company has a change-resistant culture, Goldsmith offers an important insight. It also speaks to the notion that embracing the status quo is insufficient to get a company from where it is to where it wants to be.

How do you implement significant, dramatic change? In an article written by David Roberts, Staff Writer at Grist.org, Roberts paraphrases insights from Dr. Doug McKenzie-Mohr:

The first step in changing a behavior is to isolate it into a kind of indivisible unit. For each desired behavior change, there will be a unique set of barriers and benefits; successful programs will reduce the barriers and increase the benefits (or, he noted, raise barriers and reduce benefits of competing behaviors).

While the article speaks about humans adopting environmentally-friendly changes, McKenzie-Mohr provides insights to one of the business world’s most daunting challenges: implementing change.

How might you use this these insights to help you and your company accelerate growth through change?

Photo Courtesy of myriam di maio on Flickr

 

Thought for the week:

The world has been “down in the dumps” this past week over the passing of Robin Williams. I’m hard-pressed to think of anyone else in the entertainment industry who is so universally loved. Robin leaves behind an amazing legacy. He will be missed.
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2014 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Medicare Bonanza: Ka-ching!

August 17, 2014

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A senior citizen I know recently had a trip to the emergency room at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, California. This person has Medicare and Medicare Part D insurance coverage.

Who knew what extravagant, concierge-level service you can get with this coverage!  Here’s what happened. [Note: Ka-ching is for the hospital's cash register ringing with a billable to this person's insurance company.]

The patient showed up with a vertigo problem. When this individual lay down in bed, their head started spinning. I’ve since learned this person’s condition is referred to as “positional vertigo.”  This patient had had cardiac surgery within the last year. Here’s what happened:

    • The patient was given an electrocardiogram heart test EKG (Ka-ching!) right near the ER door entrance. I joked that if they were any closer to the door, they could start the process in the passenger unloading zone. Someone may pass that idea on!
    • The patient was taken to an ER exam room (Ka-ching!).
    • The patient was hooked up to heart/blood pressure/oxygen saturation monitoring system (Ka-ching!).  
    • The on-call physician (Ka-ching!) concluded the issue was an inner ear infection and immediately prescribe 3 types of oral medication (Ka-ching!) to stop the vertigo. The vertigo symptoms resolved in less than 30 minutes.
    • The patient was very unsteady so, they decided to have the patient stay overnight which required being admitted to a regular hospital room (Ka-ching!). It was hard to argue with this appropriate suggestion.

Now things really started rolling!

  • A chest x-ray was ordered (Ka-ching!) while in the ER prior to be admitted to a room. A state-of-the-art portable x-ray machine was rolled into the ER examination room to get the x-ray.
  • A phlebotamist showed up minutes later to take a normal blood test (Ka-ching!) plus gather sufficent blood for blood cultures (Ka-ching!). Blood cultures take 2 days to grow out, so the results would have been ready after the patient left the hospital.
  • A urinalysis (Ka-ching!) was ordered.
  • The next morning, the attending physician wanted to order a CAT scan to make sure there had been no stroke. I offered, that, since the medication administered for vertigo had worked so well the night before to resolve the symptoms, my unlearned opinion was that a CAT scan was overkill and we didn’t need to do it. The doctor reluctantly agreed to not do the test.  She added, “We can never be too cautious.”  Missed Ka-ching! The doctor probably lost bonus points.
  • Because the patient has a  chronic, long-term swelling of one lower leg that is being treated by the patient’s regular physician, the doctor ordered a doppler scan (Ka-ching!) “to make sure there was no blood clot” in the patient’s lower leg. Why was this necessary? What did this have to do with vertigo? Why the medical scope creep?
  • Occupational therapy (Ka-ching!) was ordered to assess the mobility of the patient and ability of the patient to get dressed, etc.  They oncluded the patient would need to use a walker to move about the patient’s residence.  Okay…good call.

Does this seem a over-the-top to you?  It certainly does to me. Yet, once someone arrives at the hospital, the patient is given little option about what happens next. It is almost as if the arriving patient is seen not as a patient but more as “how much money can we extract from Medicare while insuring we cover our butts should something go wrong later?”

I have no idea what this acute episode cost but it seems to me much, much more than it needed to be.

How do we balance patient needs without piling on unnecessary tests and procedures?  How do we balance patient needs without taking advantage of Medicare insurance and unnecessarily driving up the national cost of patient health care?

What do you think?

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2014 Dave Gardner

Photo Credit: Flickr.com, Christiaan Triebert

 

 


First World Problem: Missing Drone

August 15, 2014

I was in Los Altos, California, for a meeting.  I encountered a guy struggling to take a photo of a flyer being buffeted by the wind attached to a pole.  On my way back to my car, I decided to capture the photo. Here it is:

Missing drone photo

 

Oh, the woes of first world problems!

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com


Lessons from Blackberry & John Chen

August 11, 2014

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John Chen, a turnaround artist and current CEO of Blackberry, has a formidable task ahead of him: Make Blackberry a viable firm once again now that the luster has long since worn off. In an article in the San Jose Mercury News, Michelle Quinn provides thoughtful insights:

Silicon Valley has a predictable cycle: Companies experience periods of rapid growth and then, for most of them, a maturation period of flatter growth. For others, contracting revenues can start a tailspin of contracting ambition. Not many survive as independent companies. BlackBerry may not be a survivor. Even Chen compares BlackBerry to a patient in critical condition.

John Chen’s offers his turn-around formula:

“The first thing you do is stabilization,” he said, “which means in business getting the financials in order.” Then, “you examine what is driving you to disconnect with customers. If you weren’t disconnecting from customers, then you wouldn’t need me.”

Quinn offers, “For now, BlackBerry is focused on its core customers in government and industries like finance, banking and health care who value security and long battery life.” Here’s another take:

“I don’t envy the guy,” said Mike Levin, partner and co-founder of Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, which pegs BlackBerry’s U.S. consumer market penetration as rounding down to 0 percent. “Smartphones are more than a consumer product now. The challenge is going to be to find something distinctive that competitors don’t have or won’t be able to copy within a year.”

The world has innovated around Blackberry. Blackberry, like so many firms before it, was caught flat-footed watching its market share erode quarter after quarter for a number of years now.

Once a firm loses its luster, it’s nearly impossible to become highly desirable again. Best case, Blackberry can be niche player if John Chen can connect Blackberry as being the preferred smartphone in one or more niches.

How is your business trending? Are you growing? If you aren’t growing, you’re on the decline. That’s no way to thrive. If customers turn off and tune out–as they have at Blackberry–it’s nearly impossible to win them back.

Photo Credit: Flickr, Ian Lamont  “In 30 Minutes guides

Thought for the week:

“The middle of creating anything new can be messy & miserable. Keep moving, step at a time, & suddenly see finish line.” – Rosabeth Moss Kanter
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2014 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


62-Year Old Stowaway Succeeds As Airline Security Fails

August 6, 2014

Well, she did it!  A woman managed to get onto a plane without a boarding pass and ended up flying from San Jose, California, to Los Angeles, California.  More about her story here.

How could this happen?

She had to make it through the TSA screening (where you are required to provide a valid boarding pass and present your driver’s license or other government-issued identification) and then sneak onto a flight at the gate.

It’s hard to believe this woman finally accomplished her mission.

But, what’s to be said for security?  The airline had a serious breech as did the Transportation Security Adminisration (TSA).

While I believe this woman is mentally ill and harmless, this breach demonstrates serious vulnerabilities in our security process. I categorize this as a Business Execution Failure.

We need to demand better.

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2014 Dave Gardner

Infosys, Vishal Sikka & Murmurations

August 4, 2014

I’m following the thoughts and ideas being offered by Dr. Vishal Sikka, the new CEO and Managing Director of Infosys, a 33-year old global I.T. services company with over 160,000 employees based in Bangalore, India.

In an interview about his joining Infosys and his vision for the future, Vishal offers:

All great systems in nature–like murmuration–are decentralized, distributed, and not hierarchically controlled. I believe decentralization, empowerment and trust but also accountability are an incredibly important part of management.

Murmuration is a phenomena of birds called starlings. Here’s a short video that beautifully illustrates murmuration.

I love the murmuration metaphor as it speaks to seamlessness, transparency, ease, continuous flow, lack of hierarchical leadership, synchronicity, harmony and collaboration. This is a great metaphor for leadership and companies today.

Imagine if your department or company achieved the ease and grace of murmuration? Don’t you believe that would help you thrive?

A Blog Post Worth A Closer Look

The Startling Science of a Starling Murmuration

 

Thought for the week:

“If you’re not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you’re determined to learn, no one can stop you.” – Unknown
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consultinghttp://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2014 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Lessons Learned: Asiana Airlines 777 Crash at SFO

July 29, 2014

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It’s been a bit over a year since an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 crashed on approach to San Francisco International Airport. The NTSB has published their final report.  I offer my thoughts on this story here.

Photo: Air shot of the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash at SFO via KTVU.

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2014 Dave Gardner

 


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