When doctors learn a new procedure or product, they train on plastic or computer simulators, and/or actual live patients (who often don’t realize it). This causes unnecessary harm and suffering, and surgical errors cost the NHS billions.
This of course wasn’t a problem when few innovations came through, but today it has doubled from just 5 years ago. Patients are injured and even killed, because learning curves aren’t completed before going into live surgery (including children).
We train doctors to be better surgeons, by providing donated cadaveric tissue instead of training on live patients.
Our company’s potential is enormous, but our topic is emotional and sensitive. Guidance end expert advise will give us a higher chance of getting this right, and if we do, we will all benefit: for every surgeon we train, the improved outcomes impacts every patient they will ever operate on.
Our work is threefold:
Policy – to change guidelines
Funding – to give doctors the funds and time off to train
Availability – increase awareness of cadaver donations (as opposed to just organ donation, which most have heard of).
For us, our work really DO make a difference between life and death. We are passionate about our vision, and hope you will be too.
I asked….and they didn’t know. I was a bit saddened by that. They looked so lost.
I asked them what their strength was; 29 out of 58 wasn’t able to write down anything on the paper in front of them. Just a sad face in the space where their strength was supposed to be.
A room full of young people, 85% had already told me they didn’t know what they wanted to do, or be, or dream of. A few were clear: focused goals and a plan of how to get there….but the majority looked like deer in headlight; “Oh no, will this be another grown-up telling me what I should do..?”
So I told them. Loud and clear, I let them know that I wasn’t going to tell them a single thing about what to do with their lives. A few looked like they were thinking I wasn’t being very helpful. That may very well be true. But I wanted to give them a bigger gift than that.
I wanted to give them a tool to figure it out for themselves.
So we spent an hour together, talking about two major things:
Body language. How to figure out what someone is saying when they are not using just their words. And, perhaps more importantly, how to communicate back and forth on that level.
Strengths. Not weaknesses. Not fixing “what you have to be better at”. I told them to stop wasting their time, because trying to fix your weaknesses is fighting nature. Make sure your weaknesses isn’t putting barriers up for you, but don’t strive to be better than someone else in an area of weakness. Focus on your strengths: Find them, hone them, practice them.
Show off your strengths. Wear them like a badge of honour, a crown on your head, a halo of skill leading your way.
And then we talked about how. And we practiced, because if you don’t know what your skill IS, how are you going to know how to do all that?
More about that later. Sign up to get a notice when I spend time to develop that part of the conversation.
I like open plan offices, as it encourages communication. But does it work as well as we think?
Think about average number of distractions during an average work day…..Now take that number and multiply it by 23.
That’s how many minutes of concentration you actually lose. You see, it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after an interruption, according to Gloria Mark, who studies digital distraction.
Distractions side track you for up to a half hour!
In other words, that “30 seconds to check Twitter” isn’t just 30 seconds down the drain. It’s 23 minutes and 45 seconds. (very few of the twitter posts I read are worth that kind of investment, but perhaps I am just following the wrong people… !)
And all these distractions not only hurt effectiveness, they make us stressed, grumpy and less sharp: “Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity,” Mark wrote.
Are we victims or villains?!
Interestingly enough, half the interruptions were self-inflicted. Working on a task and switching tabs to check Facebook, for example, is a self-inflicted interruption. As opposed to, say, a coworker walking over to discuss a project.
We are, essentially, playing tennis with our cognitive energies, volleying them back and forth at a moment’s notice. Only unlike a tennis ball, our brain takes a little time to switch directions. More like a really large ferry…!
And the problem isn’t just the time wasted. We’re sacrificing some of our best thinking: if you keep jumping between different topics and thoughts, how deep can you really get into a subject?!
Does this resonate with you? It does with me. I just don’t know what to do about it yet.
Brexit, economic downturn, lack of funding, new regulations and changing personal circumstances are all events that can rock the foundation of your startup business. Making it through hard times requires a steel determination and some serious grit. However, these days I think we need more than just fighting spirit. Here are some thoughts on what else to do when tough times hit.
I really don’t like this cutting, because I think one should always be frugal with money. In addition, for small and growing business, cost-cutting needs to be implemented with the precision of a surgeon’s scalpel. Cut too deep and your business will never recover. Cut too shallow and cash flow problems could force you to the back of the unemployment line. Exercise care and judgment in determining what and where to cut and by how much. And keep monitoring the impact.
Use Low-Budget Marketing
When recessions and other difficult times hit, the marketing function of a business is the first to get cut. With less advertising and marketing, the funnel of incoming prospects is reduced creating even more revenue decreases and setting up a vicious cycle.
The key to salvage any business in hard times is NOT to reduce your marketing activities but to REPLACE them with Low-budget marketing ( include tactics such as PR, networking, public speaking, online marketing and more.) If you’re already doing that, then figure out how you can do more, through new channels.
Invest your way out?
Are there others feeling the pinch? Can you buy yourself some growth, with efficiencies to be made through scaling operations?
Customer. Customer. Customer.
In good times, business comes easy. Your sales pitch or marketing message may be less effective but will still get results. Surviving hard times requires going back full circle to the fundamentals: Keep it simple, and give your customers what they want and need. Make sure EVERY customer is happy, because you certainly can’t afford a single unhappy one.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of replaying the situation that got you here today. If you had a failed partnership, replaying your mistakes is a mistake. Research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology by Lyubomirsky, Sousa, et al reveals analysis occurring during talking or writing is beneficial in difficult times while replaying negative events is detrimental.
There is a great book called “What got your here won’t get you there”, and that phrase is a great reminder of the need to pause, take stock, realign and move forward.
Go win. If it was EASY, ANYBODY could’ve done it already.
The team around me is used to my objective, non biased, unemotional drive for constant improvement, but I was reminded today that not everyone can handle that kind of feedback.
We have to untrain people as they join us. Here you don’t get criticised. Here, we all just strive for better.
I say what I mean.
When I say “the outcome was poor”, I mean exactly that. It means we can improve, do something better, and that we have learned a lesson. Nothing else.
I remember the days when I worked in a different team, and a comment like that was an attack on the team or the individual. It is so easy to forget that most people still work in that type of environment. (I remember how exhausting it was.)
It isn’t feedback.
I take time to give feedback. I think, digest, review, challenge and form constructive feedback aimed at increasing confidence while improving performance (or perception, but that’s for another day. Remind me I should talk about that too.). I don’t lash out on emotional detours in the middle of a working day. But of course, today, that’s how my comment was perceived, and I need to fix that. I certainly cannot put the responsibility of knowing me and understanding how I communicate on the recipient. That would be hugely unfair.
It isn’t personal.
Just a little bit…in the GOOD way. I consider my team members partners, and we work together, side by side. In my view, we have the same goal, and we work equally hard to get there. I am much more focused on the end goal, and I have no time for internal competition. So when I push for better output, it is me objectively pushing for improvement. from ALL of us, including me.
I’ve recently had the pleasure of connecting with world class professional athlete Louise Walden, and convinced her to write about her approach to learning, a key aspect that we both view as central to success. Here is her story.
“My View Of Learning…
My view on learning now differs dramatically to what I once thought it was as a child. As an active, easily distracted child, who was once described by a teacher as ‘no better than average’, learning for me was obligatory hours spent at school. I probably would have told you that learning was boring, inconvenient and dull. As I reflect now, I question whether my view was the innocence of youth or in actual fact something that I had learnt in itself.
Now as former British Champion, Team GB member, World Class professional athlete and International Gold Medallist, who has built her career on constantly exceeding expectations, I can deduce a completely different perspective to that of my younger self. Learning for me is a fundamental aspect of life. The knowledge that we gain from learning and the way in which we use it, is how we allow ourselves to evolve, develop and be our own success.
As a child I associated learning with education and without choice, which back then I suppose it was to some extent, but my perception was also that anything outside of academia or anything a little bit creative, was merely playtime. Where that view point came from I am unsure of, but that highlights to me that as teachers, parents and role models, we have a responsibility to be aware of how we inadvertently influence those around us.
I now find learning is exciting, necessary and valuable.
It is a privilege, it is precious and an investment in ones future. Without learning we cannot grow, progress or succeed and it is imperative for limitless self improvement. How you choose to learn, who you choose to learn from, the knowledge you gain from those experiences and then how you use it, is what makes us all unique.
My adult self now appreciates that learning does not need to be attributed to education, teachers or text books.
I am constantly learning from every person that I meet and every experience that I find myself in. I believe that without learning from both negative and positive experiences, failings and victories, pessimists and optimists, we may never reach our full potential.
I expect I will always be selective with who I allow to demonstrate leadership and inspire me. The ability to lead and to teach I’m my opinion, is giving the gift of knowledge to others and something I feel very protective of, as knowledge in the wrong hands may not always be productive. Leaders and motivators therefore have a responsibility to allow people to be themselves, to encourage freedom of expression and interpretation of knowledge, so that a person may create their own path.
Perhaps the most valuable lesson I learnt as a child did in fact originate from my school days and from that very teacher who thought I wouldn’t amount to much.
I learnt from him I needed to strive to overachieve in every aspect of my life.
I have lived in fear of that word ‘average’ and made sure that everything I do is to the best of my ability.
I live by the belief that the sky is the limit and that if you dream, believe, work and focus relentlessly on what you want to achieve, you can and you will achieve it.”