My 7-year-old daughter has been very ill since Thanksgiving. She has been under the careful care of her pediatricians at the medical system to which we belong. They have more than 10 million health plan members across the US, so they can be trusted, right?
Even with multiple appointments and following the pediatricians’ prescriptions exactly, her health has been on a steady decline over many weeks.
She became so tired and lethargic that I determined that one of the best thigs I could do was stop letting her pediatricians care for her; so, I rushed my 7-year-old angel to an emergency room at a different healthcare system. Tests revealed that her body was on the precipice of shutting down. Her body was going into shock, perhaps irreversibly. The ER physician explained that, even with immediate medical intervention, she might die. I had no idea how hearing those words would feel to a parent. Like a sledge hammer hitting one’s chest. The doctors admitted her to the hospital immediately.
Today marks her fourth day the pediatric unit at the hospital. I just gave her a big hug, and she smiled and said, “I love you Daddy.” Were it not for the IV in her arm, it could have been a normal evening. After giving that sweet hug, she snuggled up with my wife in the hospital bed, and fell asleep.
She is going to be ok. But, had I continued to adhere to our health system’s pediatricians’ advice, that hug would never have happened, and her sleep would have been eternal.
How is it that a huge medical system, with 10 million members and more than 180 physicians, could do such a poor job? If a doctor has a computer in the examination room, and a tablet everywhere they go, does that make them a competent physician? Does the technology help them do their jobs, or get in the way of taking care of their patients?
Another experience: Two weeks ago I encountered a CEO who has tossed his smartphone and gone back to a flip-phone. He is not the only CEO making this move. He says the smartphone technology slowed him down. He didn’t need the frustration, and is fine with all the ribbing he receives from his peers about being a technology Neanderthal.
Perhaps he possesses the uncommon wisdom to know when to use, and not to use, technology.
How often do salespeople, especially those in the field, lament that being forced to use technology for all aspects of their role hurts their ability to sell productively?
Have you ever encountered an organization that spent a ton of money on a new ERP that was supposed to be amazing, but they ended up abandoning the ERP project later at an incredible expense?
Have you ever heard of a company so debilitated by ransomware that they could not run their organization until they recovered from the attack? Should your organization be that dependent on technology? Yes. In some businesses, it is practically mandatory to be that reliant on technology.
Being reliant on technology is a big part of doing business.
But it is time to reconsider the wisdom of relying on computers, the cloud, and other technologies for every process in your organization. As the CEO pointed out, this not only applies to the organization, but to individuals as well. Just because there is an app for that doesn’t mean the app is a better way to do things.
I encourage you to make another New Year’s resolution: Identify where technology truly helps, and where it impedes, your organization’s effectiveness. By all means, continue to use technology where it serves you well; be the best at utilizing the technology. And, be courageous enough to go against the technology trend, where appropriate.
Challenge your executives to identify the effectiveness of using every program and process in your organization. Definitely keep technology that serves you, and ditch the rest. Those actions may lead to some of your biggest wins in 2017!
Please forward this to anyone who you feel will benefit from stepping back and examining which technology serves them, and what doesn’t.