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Showing posts from November, 2011

"Aggravate a traveler, then hand them a smartphone..."

Especially a traveler who is also a composer and musician.  From Alexandra Samuel, blogging at HBR Blog Network about Qantas Airways' misadventures through the social media minefield: 

"We've been saying this for a while now but it's worth repeating: Social media turns branding into a true (if often accidental) collaboration between company and customer, in the way it enables constant and often bottom-up collaboration within organizations, and in the way it accelerates the pace of conversation and organizational change. Social media tends to flatten hierarchies, disempower gatekeepers, and give a voice to anyone who cares to speak about an issue, or a brand."
Still a doubter?  Maybe you should Google "United Breaks Guitars"  - another airline but still the poster child for customer revenge, and the point that started this post...


Rated Lower On Satisfaction, Hospitals Blame ‘Cranky’ New Yorkers

Say the headlines. Of course the official explanation is “Well, Manhattan residents are crankier, tougher to satisfy and have higher expectations than those ‘nice’ Midwesterners.”

Really? Let’s parse cause and effect here. (Fair warning: I’m not the least bit sympathetic to the official explanation.)

The NY Times’ article offers an anecdote of a NYC patient waiting 8 hours for an imaging exam and not getting a magazine when she asked for one. And she refused to give the hospital a top score because…she’s CRANKY?

Excuse me?

And there’s this: NYU Medical Center is building new elevators to reduce waiting times, though they won’t be ready until a new building opens in 2017. How long has NYU known about their slow elevators? Decades, probably, yet we’re still 5 years and several hundred million dollars away from a solution. And we’re supposed to believe the problem is…CRANKY PATIENTS?

Excuse me?

I’ve worked in markets ranked #183 (Hinsdale, IL), #27 (Omaha, NE) and now #1 (M…

"It is so simple, just do what you love."

Christina Stevens writes about senior living at her blog "Next Wave." Good stuff.

Haven't read it yet, but love the title!

Questions For A Sunday Morning

Weight loss:  Commercial weight-loss schemes outperform physician recommendations.  Does your heart follow where your pocketbook leads?  (Chicago Tribune)
Prostate surgery: Risks associated with prostate surgery are lower at academic medical centers.  Does practice make, if not ‘perfect,’ at least ‘better?’  (Chicago Tribune)
Quality measures:  Will your physician ‘fire’ you to meet standards for incentive-based compensation? Are you a parent who refuses to vaccinate your kids?  “You’re fired!” (Advisory Board)
Disease management:  Programs for Medicare patients do not improve quality, reduce costs or decrease hospital and ED visits.  It’s only one study, but disappointing nevertheless. (NEJM)

 (Image from http://www.steinski.com/blog/a_question_for_you/ via a Creative Commons search)

"Major segments of the US economy have been lost, in some cases, forever."

From Clayton Christensen being interviewed by Steve Denning for Forbes:

"Firms need to be evaluating future investments strategically in terms of how they will affect their capacity to go on delighting their customers for a sustained period in the future.

"For managers trained in traditional business school thinking, the idea that pursuit of profit is the problem, rather than the solution to the economy’s problems, may come as a shock. For business school professors who have spent their lives teaching the focus on profits and the use of IRR and RONA to measure profits, the coming change may be even more disturbing.

"Like all new ideas, in the first instance it will be rejected. Then it will be ridiculed. Finally it will be self-evident and no one will be able to remember why anyone ever thought otherwise."

What I'm Reading: "Different; Escaping the Competitive Herd"

"...every year, I tell my students that marketing is the only function in the organization that is expressly designed to sit at the intersection where business meets people.  Real people.  And the problem with real people is that they don't see the world the same way a businessperson does.  They don't speak the language of bullet points; they don't organize the world into flowcharts and frameworks.  People, real people, view the world more organically.  They are idiosyncratic.  They are unpredictable.  They are beautifully disorganized."  
(From "Different; Escaping the Competitive Herd" by Youngme Moon.)

"...marketing is the only function in the organization that is expressly designed to sit at the intersection where business meets people."  I like that.

(Image from http://layered.typepad.com/antidote_to_burnout/images/2007/10/06/4b14310b020017cf.gif found via a Creative Commons search)

Jawbone’s Wristband Health Monitor

Bloomberg Business Week:  "And now there’s UP. “The big idea here is to help make people consumers of their own health,” Rahman says. “We probably know less about our bodies than we do about our phones.” UP is supposed to change that. The pliable rubber-coated wristband is meant to be worn nonstop for 10 days at a time, even in bed and in the shower. An accelerometer inside tracks data like the number of steps a person takes in a day and the number of calories he or she has burned. The device also monitors sleep patterns and can be programmed as an alarm that wakes the wearer, within a preset time range, at the ideal moment in their sleep cycle. The accompanying iPhone application lets users share their UP data with friends, create personal challenges, and record and track each meal they eat."
On sale later this month for $100 at Best Buy, Target and Apple stores, UP may be the best $100 you've spent on your health.
[More, here.]



An Apple A Day...

From From Doors Of Perception:  "...between 1995 and 2010, North American taxpayers spent over $260 billion on subsidies of junk food ingredients compared to $262 million - *one thousand times less* - subsidising apples [which is pretty much the only fresh food to get a subsidy at all]."




The Challenges Facing Low-Quality Universities

From The New Republic: "A Much Needed Challenge To Low-Quality Universities."  Higher education is in crisis.  Out of touch thinkers and policymakers. Skyrocketing costs (even faster than healthcare.)  Mounting student loan debts.  De-emphasized teaching and research while administrative layers grow without limit.

Despite the serenity of most college campuses, "...the reality of higher education is that most students today don’t have access to..an idyllic (and expensive) college experience, never have, and never will. Instead, many get stuck in big, low-cost lecture courses of indifferent quality provided by institutions that treat students like anonymous tenants. Those are the places that are going to be transformed by technology.

"These disruptions will take many forms. While it’s impossible to predict exactly what the typical college student’s educational experience of the future will look like, the changes will almost definitely include a decline in the numbe…

If Disney Took Out Your Trash

If you’re a reasonably long-time reader of Health Care Strategist, you’ve heard me criticize health care's apparent incuriosity about the innovative world beyond some walnut-paneled boardroom.



“Not invented here. Can’t work. Let’s take it to committee. Better yet, let's form a NEW committee!  It’s too risky. Health care is different. You don’t understand - we’re a hospital, not Google! Nobody else is doing it. Why should we?”


Some of you think I’m being too hard on an industry that’s paid my bills for 25+ years. Really? Then tell me why this story is headline-worthy:

"Community Hospital Borrows Show Biz Staging."

Visit any Disney property and what you WON’T see are maintenance carts, food deliveries, trash removals or employees rushing to their job station. All that operational stuff happens behind the scenes, away from the paying public’s eyes.



 Disney pioneered this separation of public and private spaces in the early 1960s at Anaheim’s Disneyland and a decade…

Your Next Health Coach May Be...

...your car.  From Edmunds Inside Line:

"Ford cars and trucks may soon be able to tell you when to take a puff on your asthma inhaler or test your blood glucose level, as the Dearborn automaker is poised to take its Sync communications system far beyond infotainment.

"The Dearborn automaker offered a tantalizing — if somewhat disconcerting — look on Wednesday at the potential for a vehicle to be your partner and coach when it comes to health and wellness.
"Ford said it was intent on demonstrating a paradigm shift in the way its Sync communications system is used. In the not-too-distant future, a car could let you know the UV index so you could apply the proper amount of sunscreen, monitor your food choices at McDonald's, or check your calendar to see whether you'll be playing sports that day and may need an extra puff or two on your asthma inhaler.
'"We're not trying to turn the car into a medical device," said Alan Hall, a Ford spokesman in a …