Skip to main content

“You’re looking at a generation of 20- and 30-year-olds who are used to self-organizing,”

NY Times:  "As Scorn for Vote Grows, Protests Surge Around Globe."

Political and financial institutions are seen as clueless at best, venal at worst.  A new generation vents their frustration through self-organizing, decentralized coalitions.  

Many health care strategists will read this article with a sense of detachment.  That's a mistake because, above all, successful strategists are trend-aware.  

So be aware of this:  

A trend driven by economic frustration and doubt about the future may start in the political arena, but that's seldom where it stops.

From the article:
"Increasingly, citizens of all ages, but particularly the young, are rejecting conventional structures like parties and trade unions in favor of a less hierarchical, more participatory system modeled in many ways on the culture of the Web.


"In that sense, the protest movements in democracies are not altogether unlike those that have rocked authoritarian governments this year, toppling longtime leaders in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Protesters have created their own political space online that is chilly, sometimes openly hostile, toward traditional institutions of the elite.


"The critical mass of wiki and mapping tools, video and social networking sites, the communal news wire of Twitter and the ease of donations afforded by sites like PayPal makes coalitions of like-minded individuals instantly viable.


“You’re looking at a generation of 20- and 30-year-olds who are used to self-organizing,” said Yochai Benkler, a director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. “They believe life can be more participatory, more decentralized, less dependent on the traditional models of organization, either in the state or the big company. Those were the dominant ways of doing things in the industrial economy, and they aren’t anymore.”
What are health care's "dominant ways of doing things" and what happens when they aren't any more?  Do we adjust only when the bonds of trust are irrevocably gone and our customers are fed up with our crap?  For now, we in healthcare are seen as the good guys - expensive, but good.  For now...

UPDATE: In all the media coverage of Steve Jobs' passing, there's this from the NY Times: "What Steve Jobs Understood That Our Politicians Don't."
"After all, if you wanted to really get a picture of how the national culture has evolved in the last few decades, particularly in the urban areas that drive economic growth, you could do a lot worse than to study Apple’s string of innovations. (Steve) Jobs understood, intuitively, that Americans were breaking away from the last era’s large institutions and centralized decision-making, that technology would free them from traditional workplaces and the limits of a physical marketplace."

[...]

"And no politician wants to really innovate without focus groups, to make a sustained argument for any solution that might entail risk or imagination. Our parties are less like Apple and more like General Motors, churning out this year’s streamlined model of the same cars it was asking you to buy 20 years ago. Even the circuitry of the democracy remains essentially unchanged; a nation of voters who can find their cars and pay their mortgages online still can’t envision the day when they can cast their votes from an iPad."
Politicians aren't the only ones "not gettin' it."

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Being Disrupted Ain't Fun. Deal With It.

Articles about disrupting healthcare, particularly those analogizing, say, Tesla's example with healthcare's current state, are frequently met with a chorus of (paraphrasing here) "Irrelevant! Cars are easy, healthcare is hard." You know, patients and doctors as examples of "information asymmetry" and all that. Well, let me ask you this: assuming you drive a car with a traditional internal combustion engine, how much do you know about the metallurgy in your car's engine block? I'll bet the answer is: virtually nothing. In fact it's probably less than you know about your own body's GI tract. Yet somehow, every day, us (allegedly) ignorant people buy and drive cars without help from a cadre of experts. Most of us do so and live happily ever after (at least until the warranty expires. Warranties...another thing healthcare could learn from Tesla.) Now, us free range dummies - impatient with information asymmetry - are storming healthcar…

Becoming Consumer Friendly In Five Easy Steps...Or Not

An article at hhnmag.com offers hospitals 5 steps to becoming more consumer friendly.

If you still think there's a secret sauce to your hospital becoming more "consumer friendly," these 5 steps are as good a place to start as any.  Unfortunately, it's a little like that old Steve Martin comedy bit where he says he'll teach you how to be rich. The first step is to go find a million dollars.

Step 1 from the article is realizing that "...a Medicare beneficiary with chronic conditions is different from a young mom who brings her kids in for an annual check-up." This is market segmentation for beginners, and, yes, one size decidedly does not fit all. I'm sure your marketing team's been saying this for a while.

Steps 2-5: have a strategy, metrics, a champion and resources. OK. Hard to argue with any of those.

But those things, alone or together, won't overcome culture. They're important components to be sure, but insufficient without a …

Behind Every Resume Is A Potential Customer...and Karma.

I recently heard from an executive colleague who, thanks to a merger, found herself looking for her next opportunity. Her story, probably depressingly familiar to many of you, was all about the big black hole of rudeness and non-responsiveness that so often sums up employers' attitudes toward candidates.

This colleague, thinking she'd see the healthcare world from a new vantage point, pursued opportunities with consultants, IT vendors, architects and other suppliers who, far from appreciating her solid resume, were like the 3 Stooges of clueless.

So back to a senior health system role she went, WHERE SHE NOW INITIATES AND MANAGES RFPs FOR SOME OF THE VERY SAME COMPANIES who wouldn't talk to her as a candidate, but profess their LOVE for her now that she's got money to spend on their services.

Not gonna happen. Any guesses who's off the RFP list?

I smiled when I heard her story, imagining the BusDev people working hard to grow the revenue pipeline, all the while b…