Friday, March 31, 2006

Someone has to give

Listening to a recording of Nicky Gumbel talking the other day we heard a wonderful story about a prisoner who had found Christianity in prison and was asking for various reading materials to help his mother at home to consider Christianity.

Nicky read out a letter that a senior person in the Alpha Organisation had written saying, if there is no money in the budget 'then just send the bill to me.'

As Nicky said - for anything to happen in life 'Someone has to give.'

Whether that be in 'money' or in 'time' - 'Someone has to give.'

I like that!!

It got me thinking about how often in my healthcare career I saw passion and enthusiasm of staff stifled or even completely crushed, simply because the system says
'Sorry pal - there is no money for that.'

What a let down! What a terrible thing to say to someone.

How refreshing if managers could just say – ‘To hell with the cost, we are going to do that because this member of our staff is so passionate with the idea that she will probably make it work!’

Then I realise I am just dreaming about some ‘promised land’ that I am always accused of seeing through my well known rose tinted glasses.

Let's put the record straight immediately - I am not saying – ‘ignore budgets and money’ - I am not silly.

I am saying – how wonderful and liberating it would be to hear managers saying – ‘I don’t care what the policy says - we are going to encourage this person.’

Is it really that radical?

I am not suggesting anarchy - just a little common sense please about how to motivate staff.

Someone has to give - Is this asking too much?


Frank said...

Sadly in my experience the decision making processes are 80-90% irrational. If you can explain/justify it to a six year old then it is silly that we are not able to make these kind of decisions.
We just need more six year old's in management.

Trevor Gay said...

Nice reponse Frank - two of my favourite quotes

"Strategies are okayed in boardrooms that even a child would know are doomed to fail. The problem is there is never a child in the Baordroom' Victor Palmieri

Another I like is from Freud

'What a distressing contrast there is between the radiant inteligence of a child and the feeble mentality of the adult'

Rosa Say said...

Trevor, you are not just dreaming; in my experience I am amazed at how much money is sitting in budgets at the end of a fiscal year because people didn't "have time" or plan well enough to spend it! Then they scramble to use it up so that in the next budget-writing cycle it won't look to the powers that be that they don't really need it.

However the biggest annoyance for me is that people give up too quickly when they get that first "no" and they shirk their own responsibility with being more creative and finding a way to make things happen. It's that old truism: "where there's a will, there's way."

Sometimes, in trying a bit harder, they also realize that funding is not what was needed after all, just more personal effort. Someone has to be willing to give - of themselves.

Trevor Gay said...

Hi Rosa - In my experience as manager in healthcare for 35 years far too many people give up too soon. I agree with you about that. In my experience, doors that we think are closed are often in fact, ajar. I was always more motivated by bosses who took a few risks with the money than those who boasted about their under spend at financial year end. As far as I am concerned in healthcare the only thing an under spend mean at the end of the year is that some patients somewhere missed out. There is absolutely nothing to be proud of with an under spend in a healthcare department!

Rocky said...

The power of giving is immense. Everything that exist follows the law of giving back. When we plant something it usually gives back in fruitage much more than the one seed planted. man is the only being that seems to want to work counter to that concept. Man has learned to save and hoard. In the process we have learned keep instead of give. Your example and the well tought comments prove the power of giving is strong and creates abundance for all. great topic, thanks.

Dmitry Linkov said...

Good topic Trevor.

But such things require people - open mind, kind, energetic ones. If on one level there is a person who can make such decision but from one lever higher he can be punished for that - it won't work!


Trevor Gay said...

Hello Dmitry – greetings from England, it’s great to hear from you. I think you are the first person from Russia to comment on my Simplicity Blog – and you are very welcome.

I agree with you that a person ‘higher up’ in the pecking order can often be an obstacle and I have seen many people give up when they are faced with the answer 'no.' I can understand but if an idea is worth pursuing then the person must try hard to overcome obstacles and fight for their cause if they feel it is right. The best leaders in my opinion encourage their staff to take risks and push the limits and constantly ask questions about 'why we do things this way.' Truly great leaders will also find a way of getting round the problem ‘we have no money’

I have visited your Blog - it looks terrific - well done!

I hope you will become a regular Simplicity reader :-)

Dmitry Linkov said...

Thanks Trevor,

Btw - your blog is in my RSS feed ;). Don't miss any of your posts!

Good Luck!

p.s.: I would really appreciate if you hava a chance to write a few quotes here