I’ve been spending the last two days at a really amazing conference for the leaders (I’m a board member in Vegas) of the various BYU Management Societies around the world. The focus of the organizations around the world is to promote ethical leadership in business and our communities. A noble goal and the speakers and attendees at the event reflect that goal very nicely.
As I’ve listened to a number of extraordinary insightful speakers I’ve been struck by one of the recurring messages. Having a purpose in the work you do makes everything better. Workers are happier at work when they have a purpose. Workers produce more when they have a purpose. Workers do a better job when they have a purpose. The list of benefits go on and on. What’s amazing is that all of this was proven scientifically. It’s powerful when you see the rigorous approach they took to understanding what motivates a workforce.
I think we see the impact of this in many healthcare organizations. In fact, most of the people I’ve seen working in healthcare realize that they have a higher purpose beyond themselves. That inspires them to perform better work, go above and beyond in the work they do, and to generally be satisfied with their jobs. Although, I think it’s easy to forget some of those things when you get distracted by the minutiae. Remembering the goal of healthcare is always beneficial.
When it comes to healthcare IT I’ve seen both sides of the coin. I’ve seen many mission driven healthcare IT organizations that produce way above their resources. I see others that are missing the vision. You can imagine which ones I’m placing my bets on in the future.
I always hate when doctors talk about healthcare IT people’s inability to save lives. Sure, it’s done in a very different way, but that’s absolutely the possibility. Plus, doctors should want health IT people to feel that they’re working to save lives. Having that feeling will drive them do do more and be more. It will give them a mission which will produce better results for the doctors and the patients. Furthermore, it’s ironic that doctors would blame health IT for all their problems and dissatisfaction, but not then turn around and credit them for the times that health IT helped them save a patient as well.
Personally, I’d like to see more healthcare IT companies with ambitious goals around improving care and saving lives. Those missions will drive a company to perform beyond their expectations. That’s a good thing for healthcare and something we should welcome. As I’ve learned in depth these past 2 days, having a purpose to your work will improve performance. We should want that across every segment of healthcare.