I never really thought about just getting it done, whatever IT happens to be. That has been the driving force of my personality forever. Just get it done. Once it is done, then I don't have to worry or think about IT.
Many people seem to have some blockage towards just getting it done. There always seems to be either an excuse, or a deviation or distraction. Rather than just doing it, some need time to ruminate, think, pause, or whatever the process is.
And then it doesn't get done.
Bruce Wilkinson was the lunch time speaker at the National Workers' Compensation & Disability Conference yesterday. He's a safety guy turned public speaker and his message to us was that workers' compensation is too managed - there is very little leadership - and as a consequence IT doesn't get done.
Management presumes that someone or something requires control and direction. People have to be managed, systems have to be managed, outcomes have to be managed.
Management worries about details, is concerned with processes. The old saying that you can't manage what you don't measure is tell-tale of this mentality.
Leadership is about empowerment. Leadership is doing. An effective leader doesn't tell someone what and when to do it. An effective leader DOES it and shows that it can be done.
And if it can't be done, then a leader will take the hit, get back up, admit mistake ... and try again in a different way.
We in workers' compensation are very good at telling people what to do, when to do it, how to do it, what it will cost, when it will be paid for, etc. etc.
We manage, in other words.
No wonder there is so much failure in workers' compensation.
When we get down to the bottom line, we're all just talk and no walk.
The center of the workers' compensation universe is the injured worker. Without people getting injured at work and a system for dealing with the consequences our jobs would not exist.
But we take the wrong approach to our jobs. We have been trained deeply to make and follow rules. It is ingrained in us time after time that we must measure, compare and measure again.
We tell injured workers when they can file claims, who they can see for treatment, how long they are off work, how much indemnity they will receive and we gather all sorts of data about claims and injuries to help us...
We tell doctors what treatment they will use, how much we will pay for it, and what information we want to help us ...
We gather statistics about frequency and severity, and acquire data and apply it to determine how much an employer is going to pay, and all of this data is used to help us...
All of this to help us ... manage.
We do a great job of managing and the result is abysmal.
Wilkinson put it best when he told the audience that workers' compensation is a people business. We are in the business of dealing with human beings with thoughts, emotions, feelings, weaknesses, desires, hopes.
Emotions are a critical part of workers' compensation claims and we do a terrible job of recognizing this fact and dealing with it. Instead it is much easier to "manage" a claim rather than reach out and "lead" an injured worker and the team surrounding that person to a successful outcome.
People need and love inspiration. The human character is to look to others and see that it can be done.
When Wilkinson was speaking I was reminded of dear Mom back at her home, with her dementia, and how Dad had "managed" her for so long. It wasn't until Dad went into the hospital recently that I realized that Dad had "managed" her right into disability.
Dad put on a good show. He would ask her what she wanted for lunch, and then tell her what she was going to eat. He would ask her where she wanted to go for entertainment and then tell her that they were going to a movie. He would ask her if she wanted to go for a walk and then tell her that she was going for a walk. Mom couldn't just get up out of her chair, Dad had to be there and help her do it correctly so she wouldn't fall.
Dad lovingly managed every aspect of Mom. In his mind he was helping her.
In her mind, though, she was disabled.
When Mom was liberated from this management all of a sudden her dementia seemed less severe. It took a couple of days, but when I showed Mom how to order off the menu herself, that's what she did.
When I helped her understand how to get up out of the chair every time successfully (don't look down, look up because the body always goes where the eyes are looking) that's what she did without further assistance.
Walking and getting exercise wasn't objectionable anymore, and she started asking her care giver to take her for a walk and she began enjoying her daily exercise regimen. She's waking up earlier and with more energy.
She still has dementia - she can't remember my wife's name and repetitively asks the same question.
But the difference is that her level of functioning has increased dramatically.
Because she isn't managed.
Leadership is hard and takes much more initial effort than management. We deal with people and they need to be lead to success.
Wilkinson raised a point that touched on one of my particular peeves - the response of "no problem" when a vendor or service provider is praised or thanked.
The term "no problem" is hugely negative. First, you're telling the customer "no" right off the bat! Second, you are stating there was a "problem" when there may have never been any.
The correct response is, "my pleasure." It should be our pleasure to do our jobs competently, effectively, efficiently, and for the purpose of leading an individual to success.
Make it your pleasure too.