Knows, Says, Does
Everybody says – that something SHOULD be done
Everybody does – SOMETHING, especially at the start
– and what finally gets done is often less than what is needed.
We could predictably digress to a discussion about so-called reform and how politics can divert to the vested interest of those in the ‘pork’ business. But there are more pressing needs in our immediate neighborhood and that of our neighbors (like Haiti of note). What we are addressing touches on both. Neither will be resolved until SOMETHING affords the real CHANGE that we can ALL believe in – not just the few that might be self-served otherwise. And even in the midst of our good intentions and humanitarian efforts, the frailty of our human nature is often showcased as well.
“Everybody knows…SOMETHING” – is more than true, everywhere. While management may desire to know what to change to make things better, line workers are challenged with making things work, anyway. They know the problem intimately and live with it daily. The problem in many cases is also that those who should be listening often turn a deaf ear to that insight. So our first challenge is to open the dialogue and afford everyone equitable representation in that continuous feedback mechanism. Few systems are designed for unfiltered feedback from all those who are impacted and transparent accountability back to all its stakeholders.
“Everybody says… ” – that SOMETHING should be done. There are a growing number of portals and websites and blogs that broadcast our opinions on everything, and to anybody that will listen or watch. The problem is that what we say in one place is not ‘visible’ to what has already been said or what will likely be repeated by someone else, somewhere else, again and again. Not only is the information often repeated, but so is the problem.
Everybody does – SOMETHING, especially at the start. It is easier to rally the troops when self-preservation is at stake. It is easier to ride the emotion of a recent catastrophe than rekindle momentum based on its fading memory. The problem is that our attention is often drawn to a new problem, that too often is just a repeat of an old issue, long since forgotten or buried in the wealth of information that is too often overlooked, or perhaps incomplete or even useless.
So what finally gets done is often less than what is needed. Anyone with a grasp for the obvious is probably aware of this set of issues – and is probably presently involved in some misplaced effort that echoes these problems. And the good news is that the solution to these problems has just been defined within the problem statement itself.
The problem is one of divergence
– that can be resolved by convergence.
We can start by learning SOMETHING from our past. A quick review of the issues described above offers us more than enough insight. The challenge and opportunity is then to collect that knowledge and make it useful, simply and effectively. So how can we all LEARN something, from everybody, everywhere, and every time?
Got a “checklist”…?
Dr. Atul Gawande has recently posed that approach as a means to refocus all the energy that is too often wasted instead. To help with putting that approach to work for us he has even offered a checklist for making a checklist. At its basic concept the checklist serves us in several key ways.
The checklist starts with the affirmation that finding out what ‘someone’ knows is important and will be collected from anyone that cares enough to participate. It continues with a structured process in which it will be collected so that everyone knows which facets of their viewpoints will be evaluated. It culminates in a formalized framework in which their diverse insight can be implemented. What is… broken, what will…be considered, what can…be done?
It offers consistent input to anticipate consistent throughput for useful output.
It holds out real hope for real change for real benefits – for everyone.
Perhaps the internet has finally afforded us the technology to join our collective voices – for good. The challenge is to create a checklist that applies to everyone, everywhere, every time.
I would suggest that all we need to do is ASK4 it…
Written by gsbigger
February 8, 2010 at 10:39 am