Whatever you do, do something because doing nothing is not wise..
This recent bank holiday I had the misfortune of spending it in hospital. I say misfortune but I've tried to turn this into a positive.
Everyone has an opinion about the NHS and most say how rubbish it is.
I have many close friends and family who have the first-hand and inside track experience of our national health service.
- My Father recently had major heart surgery and a knee replacement (more about him later)
- His wife is a recently retired (very) senior midwife of a major hospital and is now a consultant on strategy.
- My mother is a qualified SRN (State Registered Nurse) - a good old-fashioned nurse who loved casualty (A&E these days).
- My wife recently had a major operation.
- A close friend is a GP
- Her husband is a past NHS & now private hospital general manager.
All in all, I think I have quite a broad range of experience, opinion and inside track into the NHS.
And now, I've spent 48 hours in bay 9, Millbridge Ward at Royal Surrey.
I won't bore you with the details of what I had. It's no big deal but importantly it could have been. All you need to know is that the NHS nailed it. Quickly. Efficiently and with laser-like precision and commitment. And they did it with lovely people who were always smiling. How they deal with the day to day shit that I witnessed I don't know.
The most alarming moment came when a very pretty young female doctor gave me the dreaded news. She was going to have to perform THAT prostate check/procedure. She looked at me, I looked at her - she blushed, so did I and we had that awkward moment. Oh God - does it get any worse than that? Well apparently for her it does. She said she needed a male witness. It's now a requirement because too many men have made complaints about the doctor 'abusing' them during that examination. WHAT? in God's name would compel someone to complain about that? Seriously...some people.
But this is exactly what the NHS has to deal with. Those people.
The other people the NHS has to deal with are the people like my father:
- smoker all his life
- poor diet
- zero exercise
- majorly overweight
Low and behold, he has heart problems resulting in major surgery, which causes further complications when also trying to solve his knee issue.
Now whilst I don't have exposure to everyone's medical records that I shared a ward with so I can't categorically say what's happening in each case. I can say is that most of the men in this ward are old (predictable) grossly overweight and probably (statistically) have some sort of diabetic problem. (a nurse kinda confirmed this when I was chatting to her).
After all, Type 2 diabetes (THE PREVENTABLE TYPE) costs the NHS/you the taxpayer £14billion a year.
And yet many people ignore it and complain that the NHS isn't working when they enter the system for an utterly preventable disease with all its various and vicious complications.
So as I sit here, I wonder whether to feel sad for these poor gentlemen who are seriously suffering but have refused to be the masters of their own destiny by preventing their pathetic situation or whether I feel angry that they are costing everyone so much money that is largely avoidable.
Either way, ignoring the basics early on can lead to very painful and complicated lives later. Good luck with sorting all that out, the dye it seems is usually cast.
As for me, I sit here feeling absolutely fine but still, the doctors tell me I can't go home just yet. Why?
A. They know what they're doing - they're the experts
B. My blood results tell a different story to what I appear to be feeling.
They are using blood (data) and process to make their decisions.
It seems to me that there are many similarities between the NHS and businesses, especially in the events industry.
The NHS uses data and process to diagnose problems as they occur.
If, when you arrive, you are in a mess because you have failed to adhere to the basic principals of prevention then it's going to be a long and painful road to recovery. You certainly won't be returning to 'normal' and major changes will have to take place. This will take time and be painful for most people.
The same theory can be applied to data transformation in the events industry. If you do the basics nice and early and apply the prevention approach then it will be relatively simple to diagnose the problem and fix it.
Like me, it took 48 hours of laser-like precision to find and fix.
If on the other hand you don't do anything and leave your fate to chance then you will (probably) end up like the elderly men in my ward. In a right old pickle.
So the message for all you data/market/sales folk out there:
Prevention is always better than cure
The answer is in the data (blood)
If you haven't already, get going with your digital transformation because you will find your answers are in the data - the lifeblood of your business.