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Showing posts from August, 2012

Let's Gather Some Data, Shall We?

The story goes that, upon hearing of Richard Nixon's election triumph, a resident of New York's tony Upper East Side exclaimed "But how could that happen?  Everybody I know voted for McGovern!"

Usually attributed to film critic Pauline Kael, it's an example of the logical fallacy known as hasty generalization: drawing an overbroad conclusion based on a statistically insufficient sample. 

From the Wall Street Journal:

"In reality, Kael was more self-aware than that. What she actually said, as reported by the Times in December 1972, was: "I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon." But you see how the fallacy works: By her own account, Kael led a parochial life, seldom venturing outside her "special world." If she had mistaken her circle of acquaintances for a representative sample of Americans, she would have been mystified by the election outcome."

To a certain extent, we all live "parochial li…

NFP Hospitals Hit the Wall

Have nonprofit healthcare providers' improvement efforts hit a wall?  Standard & Poor's Rating Services seems to think so, in this story (via Reuters.)   From the story:

"Adding to pressures, inpatient volumes are dropping."With pending budget sequestration at the federal level, health reform implementation, and continuing pressure on state budgets, we believe the next several years will be difficult for most providers," said S&P. "Furthermore, we believe that the improvements of the past several years may be reaching their limit and thus will not be able to keep pace with longer-term revenue pressures, especially in light of weaker volumes."

"S&P says more rating downgrades are possible for not-for-profit healthcare systems over the next two years. It noted that the proportion of systems with positive or stable outlooks is shrinking, which "supports our opinion the multiyear trend of improved financial ratios is unlikely to contin…

What Does Culture Eat For Breakfast?

Not strategy.  Leaders, more likely, at least those managing by catchphrase, as Dan Beckham suggests.

From the article:

"The Problem of Buying into the Catchphrase

"One proponent of the "culture eats strategy" catchphrase, Shawn Parr, an innovation and design consultancy CEO, made his case in a Jan. 24, 2012, Fast Company article holding out shoe company Zappos as an example. In response, Bob Frisch, a strategy expert with experience at the Boston Consulting Group, had this to say in the same publication a month later:

"Parr attributes the success of Zappos to a culture that is inclusionary, encouraging, and empowering.' Customer service representatives write zany emails and company leaders have often affirmed their belief that if you get culture right, success follows. But Zappos also has fast delivery, deep inventory, a 365-day return policy and free shipping both ways. That's a strategy — not a culture — and if Zappos weren't competitive with catal…

ClickZ Webinar: Privacy As A Brand Asset

Though you'll never hear them say so publicly, many health care organizations view privacy as just another costly bureaucratic mandate, not a strategic differentiator.  Have you ever seen a hospital or medical practice compete as "the organization best equipped to protect your privacy?"  I thought not.

And I can't explain why this is so.  Certainly the "protect my privacy" segment is, numerically, substantial enough to gain an astute marketer's attention.

Perhaps some marketers underestimate their customers' privacy concerns.  Or it could be that, when push comes to shove, health care consumers value other things in their health care experience more than they value privacy, in which case those marketers are making a smart decision about priorities.

It could be that health care organizations are (rightly) terrified of making a brand promise they can't keep.  Perhaps 'privacy' lacks the sex appeal of  brands built around 'high-tech…

"These Aren't Your Typical Loos..."


"These aren't your typical loos. One uses microwave energy to transform human waste into electricity. Another captures urine and uses it for flushing. And still another turns excrement into charcoal."

Read more, here.

Going Rogue: A Fable, But True

Lest you think my last post overstated the case FOR "rogue" employees and AGAINST all you IT traditionalists, let me tell you a story.

Recently, my team and I searched for a way to connect ourselves and a dozen or so vendors - designers, agencies, printers and consultants.  Something like Dropbox or Google Drive.  "No go" said IT.  Not secure enough.
What alternative(s) were we offered?   SharePoint of course, assuming that my modest little corner of the empire would fund the expense (ranging anywhere from a few tens of thousands to the low six figures.)  I countered with a fast "No thanks.  At that price point, I'd have to sell a kidney or something."
But without knowing it at the time, IT's response was a blessing in disguise.

Now I'm (quietly) using iDoneThis (free) to track projects and team and vendor accomplishments,  IdeaScale (free) to generate engagement around innovative ideas and strategies,  Evernote (free) to organize snippets of…

"Enterprise IT has plenty of room for improvement..."

"Rogue IT" is about to wreak havoc at work" is Fortune's headline.  Not a moment too soon, I might add. 
From the article:

"Rogue IT is the name given to the informal, ad hoc software and devices brought by employees into the workplace. If you've ever taken your own iPad to work or used cloud-based software like Evernote or Dropbox in the office, you may well be an offender. And you're not alone. Some 43% of businesses report that their employees are using cloud services independently of the IT department, according to a recent survey of 500 IT decision makers.

"In the past, these enterprise software and hardware decisions were often the exclusive domain of a company's chief information officer or CIO, the senior executive in charge of information technology and computer systems. "Sitting in his high chair in a grey suit barking orders, [the CIO would make] product decisions for big companies with even larger user bases," explains Pe…

Wearable technology market to exceed $6B by 2016

Computerworld - Demand for real-time data, including personal health information, is driving the market for wearable, wireless devices that will grow from 14 million items this year to as many as 171 million in 2016.

In four years, the market for wearable wireless devices is expected to achieve minimum revenues of $6 billion, according to new research from IMS Research, a subsidiary of IHS.

Health Systems Have Been Slow To Innovate...

And Canada's 'My Healthcare Innovation' hopes to bend the innovation curve upward.
"My Healthcare Innovation is a spin-off of the Innovation Cell, a non-profit think tank at the University of Toronto. Incubated since 2009, MHI is a private and secure global platform configured specifically for healthcare workers to more effectively collaborate and share timely, locally relevant solutions. " [...] "Health systems have been very slow to innovate and we under-realize our return from our investment in medical research and human resources. What we need is a health system that can distill and articulate its high priority problems, share them to the innovation community (internally and externally), reward innovators and facilitate rapid implementation of "disruptive" technologies. HTX is interested in My Healthcare Innovation as a way of creating and interconnecting communities of interest to share problems and best practices, while maintaining a safe a…