One of the things that I think often gets lost in sales and consulting both as the vendor and the customer is that there is no “perfect” solution. There certainly is a problem—this is the reason that the hospital is soliciting bids or advice from outside vendors—but usually the solution is only an approximation and may, in fact, only address a small part of the problem. The real value of choosing and implementing a solution is the that it allows the opportunity to get a better understanding of the problem, and the of the capabilities of the team implementing the solution. As I had discussed in previous posts, culture plays a huge role in how successful implementations are, and how they will position the organization for future improvement.
In sales and business, I have many times seen people rest the entirety of their success for a quarter or a year on one big deal. Amazingly, mid-level managers, executives and others in the organization fall into the trap of thinking this way and throw all their resources at these deals. Often the most predictable thing happens—the deal is pushed until the next quarter. When this happens, one has a great opportunity to see the true culture of the organization.
The alternative to this approach is to make sure that there are always multiple ways to meet quarterly projections and annual quotas. It is human nature—and I am often guilty myself of it—to be swayed by the dream of a big payout. Buying a lottery ticket for a dollar with an infinitesimally small chance of winning a fortune, taking supplements based on “ancient lost secrets” that promise eternal youth (but haven’t been around long enough to be evaluated by the FDA or any peer-reviewed scientist), or following the latest fad in your business because everyone is doing it.
Relying on people is always a much safer bet. They will surprise you and achieve, often spectacularly, in areas no one else had imagined. Cultivating an environment where failure is not punished allows an organization to get a true understanding of the capabilities of their people, and where the infrastructure needs improvement to better respond to inevitable challenges.
Hospitals can’t cure everyone, or deliver immortality, at least not in the foreseeable future. All human endeavors rely on limited information and are subject to constraints which necessarily deliver less than perfect results. The goal therefore needs to be to optimize outcomes aligned to capabilities and create an environment where resources flow dynamically, almost organically to the areas where they can be best utilized.