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Showing posts from April, 2011

Idiots Deserve Idiot-Proof!

(You may want to skip this post if you’re tired of airport stories.)

Do you knowingly hire idiots? I hope not, but if so, take a moment to idiot-proof your products.

Last weekend, I had the misfortune to fly to and from the Minneapolis airport (if you’ve been there you know what I mean.)  Breaking up the interminable journey from parking to gate, I stopped at a Bluwire kiosk to buy new headphones.

Seated at my gate several thousand steps later, the a-JAYS Two fashion-forward, style-above-all case resisted my increasingly profane “Open Sesame” entreaties. Arrgh. Back to Bluwire.

“No refunds and, by the way, you need something sharp to open the case” said the idiot.  (Apparently they're way nicer to "prospects" than to "customers."  Got it.  You've banked my money and now want me to board a plane to some far-off destination.)

Something sharp…in an airport…on the “clean” side of security…tick-tock…wait for it.

(Cue Homer Simpson) “Doh! You probably do…

Employers: Reduce Costs, Add Value With This Online Calculator

Perhaps a useful model for hospitals planning an ACO...
"The nonprofit Center for Health Value Innovation (CHVI) has developed a new online tool to help U.S. employers faced with staggering health care costs design benefits to get more value for their money – resulting in healthier, engaged employees. Released today, the Health Value Accelerator™ is an easy-to-use online tool that allows an employer to create an actionable report founded on value-based benefit design to maximize their health care investments."


"Employer data securely entered into the online tool includes: the number of employees and covered lives; total health care costs for recent years; percentage of health costs spent on pharmaceuticals; percentage of population diagnosed with cardio-metabolic conditions (a group of risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes and depression) and level of medication adherence for these conditions; percentage of employee popula…

Don't Bother Trying To Hide "Merely Average" Service

Chicago-area Adventist Midwest Health comes clean about “merely average” costumer service results. It’s an unusual approach, but far better than pretending.

Is your service merely average? If so, I’ll bet you’re hesitant to dish publicly. It’s tough to say “We know we’re not very good and here’s what we’re doing about it.”

But exactly whom do you think your silence is fooling? Your customers already know. Their friends know. Your employees know, and their friends, too.

Silence Is Not Golden

That leaves you, dear leader, stuck and alone in a conspiracy of silence. Sure, you want to fix everything, touch greatness, and THEN brag about it. That could work. But if it did you wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place, now would you?

You needn’t be perfect to begin winning back that lost loyalty. Confession, we're told, is good for the soul.  It's a healthy habit for businesses, too.

Better to admit the obvious and get the discussion back on your side.  How?

Shape the s…

Transparency's Nice...For Those Other Guys

From Maggie Mahar's Health Beat blog, what happens when a local newspaper investigates  cost variations and quality issues at local hospitals?  At least in Dallas, the results aren't pretty.

Many organizations have a love/hate relationship with the media. They love the warm fuzzies and hate probing questions. My philosophy is to take 'em as they come and "Never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel" (a quote variously attributed to Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde.)