So just when the posts are getting interesting some of you want a new journal entry.
"Koolaid" keeps getting mentioned and although I'm sure it is a great drink for many people it doesn't rank high on my list of favorites.
But the concept of individuals at the helm of any organization being tainted in some way or being manipulated in some way concerns me. My involvement with the OMA has not driven me to be a koolaid drinker and I should say here and now that my views on this blog are my own and do not represent the views of any other organization to which I belong. Perhaps I should have a disclaimer of sorts on the first page....
The koolaid reference brings me to think of leadership and leadership brings me to think of a book by Ram Charan called "Know-How- The 8 Skills That Separate People Who Perform From Those Who Don't".
It's a useful book as far as I'm concerned and the most intriguing chapter for me was the last one, "In The Court Of Public Opinion-Dealing with Societal Forces Beyond the Market."
Now you may think this has nothing to do with health care in Canada, or maybe you do, but it is insightful and shines a light on a very relevant issue of how businesses (and we docs do run businesses in health care) operate in a complex societal and political milieu. Getting on the wrong side of an issue can create immense damage from special interest groups who seem to be well organized, get access to the media, and form coalitions (as in the Ontario Health Coalition).
How to deal with special interest groups is the question in an era of "moral liability" .
The response to the case outlined in the National Post and supported by the Canadian Constitution Foundation regarding Lindsay McCreith is one example of how groups like the Ontario Health Coalition get vocal rather quickly in response to challenges to the status quo.
What I'd like to see more often is balanced discussion and not entrenched ideological stances that don't give patients the care they need or the care they are waiting for.
So in the end the solutions to health care will be found in leadership. The leadership must seek balance.
Ram Charan's insight into the "real content of leadership" includes:
Positioning(and when necessary, repositioning) your business by understanding the customer's needs (in health care the patients' needs) and how to make a living (ie make a profit).
Pinpointing patterns of external change ahead of others.
Leading the social system of the business to shape how people work together.
Judging people by getting to the truth of the person.
Developing goals that balance what the business can become and what it can realistically achieve.
Dealing creatively and positively with societal pressures.
One more thing before I log off and let you post whatever you feel is relevant: Charan mentions traditional media and changes empowering newer types of media like blogs which do not require significant financial muscle.
"But the growth of the Internet has made it possible for virtuallly anyone to become a media maven via personal blogs. While most of the millions of blogs get little or no readership, those that do attract an audience are often cause-related and often target a company or an industry. The reporting may not be as thorough, accurate, or unbiased as that done by national newpapers or magazines, but it can be more devastating, particularly when the blogger either works in a company or has sources in it."
Should I open this blog up to the public fully via a web-site? It is a tough call.
As always, let me know what you think....about leadership, about communications, about Lindsay McCreith's legal challenge, about drinking koolaid or other fancy drinks.
Enjoy the day.