13 Smoking Nurses and the Knowing Doing Gap
February 20, 2012
I drive past a hospital every day on my way to work. On a recent trip into the office, I went a new way, driving past the smoking court removed somewhat from the hospital itself. What I saw there shocked me – 13 (THIRTEEN!) medical professionals in scrubs stood outside smoking. Inevitably, each one of these doctors and nurses could have given a compelling lecture on the dangers of smoking, complete with facts and figures about the increased risk of lung cancer and cardiac disease. And yet, all thirteen of them sat within rock throwing distance of an institution packed with people with the aforementioned illnesses.
As I marveled at this paradox, it struck me that I’m guilty of much the same behavior in other areas of my life. I want to lose weight but I eat too much pecan pie. I want to build a successful business but I waste time on Facebook. I dream of writing a great novel but settle for blog posts, and so on. Corporate training is a tens of billions of dollars a year industry (Wow, really? We need more market share). So, how can organizations get past the dreaded knowing doing gap? Here are a few suggestions:
Hire Doers – Most interviews measure talking, not doing. Hire people with a demonstrated history of measurable performance. If you suck at hiring, we can help.
Reward Execution – Are you incentivizing people to have great ideas to have great ideas or to execute on them?
Tolerate Mistakes – Many people get stuck in idea mode because they are afraid of failure. Ensure that your culture is one the realizes the inevitability of failure and celebrates earnest striving.
Find Diminishing Returns – At some point, learning a lot more about something only helps a little in terms of your ability to successfully execute. Find the “good enough” point and just do it!
Kill Your Meetings – Is your meeting simply disseminating information? Kill it. Kill a few more while you’re at it. Most meetings are ways for people to act busy and nothing more.
Shut Up About Your Awesome Idea – Research shows that talking about a goal makes you less likely to execute on it. Turns out that the social gratification we get from sharing our big plans is rewarding enough that we live it in our brain and never get around to making it go. So, shut up about how you’re going to conquer the world and go do it.
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Scientific – Our programs are based on behavioral science and developed by doctors. While other firms rely on hunches and the management theory du jour, we are rooted in the bedrock of science.
Measurable – We strive for measurable impact in all that we do and determine return on investment indicators with clients before accepting any engagement. Measurable success is what dictates our term of engagement – we work until you reach your goal and not one minute more.
Enjoyable – Our engagement style is best described as “edutainment.” We believe that people learn the most when they are having fun. Our goal is to deliver scientific, measurable services in such an enjoyable way that you won’t even realize you are growing.
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