Thoughts on urgency while sitting in a dental chair
The other day I had to interrupt my work with a much-needed dental appointment. My platter was so full that day, in fact, I struggled with whether to postpone it. As I sat in the dental chair with my cell phone vibrating in my lap, I found myself getting anxious. Someone I’d been advising prior to the appointment was expecting a response from me. Of course, I began to fidget trying to decide how to sneak a look at my phone and pound out a text message. The dentist actually stopped what he was doing and encouraged me to send my message before he proceeded.
It struck me, right then, I should take a deep breath and relax. I needed to let the dentist perform his procedure. If I wanted a good outcome, my job was to sit still, and let the dentist do his work. I dedicated myself to ensuring the dentist would be free of fidgeting from me. More importantly, whatever issue I was dealing with that seemed so urgent in the moment could wait an hour or two as he took care of my health in that dental chair.
With my mindset refocused, I laughed because it reminded me that I just had this same conversation with my son. As the mother of a millennial, in an age of immediate gratification, I found myself saying, “Son, things that matter don’t happen in an instant.” So, while sitting in that dental chair, it gave me a much-needed moment of pause and in that time, I thought of how our industry could appreciate a reminder with that simple statement.
The work to transform health care is not an overnight sensation. For some, realizing your organization needs to transform itself happens in a flash. However, there exists a very real-and necessary-gap between think-it-done and get-it-done. This transformation is something that requires a true cultural shift that will not happen between sun down and sun up.
So many clichés come to mind, such as “old habits die hard,” or “good things come to those who wait,” or even “Rome wasn’t built in a day!” These sayings reflect that it has taken years to get the health care industry to this place. We need to make such a fundamental shift that it will take more than an instant to get where we need to go. At V2V, we realize that working with our clients toward transformation in medical practices and rural health care requires deliberate patience in an era where everyone (providers, staff, and patients, alike) demand instant gratification.
We must roll up our sleeves, take a deep breath, provide continued encouragement, and advise our clients to take small steps, frequently, toward creating a new reality. This is how we make a sustainable difference in any organization we advise. Transforming this great industry takes time, great focus, and intentional work. This is work that we owe our patients, our physicians, and frankly, ourselves. My time in that dental chair was a great reminder of this truth.
Is your organization ready to take a deep breath and transform? It won’t happen overnight but we can help fulfill your vision for sustainable success in the new business of health care.