This week I want to highlight two interesting articles I came across this past week. While they may appear different, the concepts are related. The first article is about advocacy-based claims and how it is becoming increasingly more prevalent in the industry. The second article is all about continuous improvement; what it is, how it works, and how you can practice it. Below you’ll find these articles and my thoughts on their implications.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed below are those of Mark Pew, Senior Vice President of Product Development and Marketing, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Preferred Medical.
This year at the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference in Las Vegas there was a strong presence of the “Advocacy Based Claims” movement. In fact, many of the conference sessions were in line with this very philosophy—we should be restoring the workers’ compensation process to humanity and taking care of the injured worker. Not everyone is on board with this philosophy yet, but the increased discussions at the national conference is encouraging.
Yeah, what Bob Wilson said…if you’ve been reading/listening to my content you know this has been a primary focus of mine for quite some time. What you might not know is the first time I talked about the attitudinal changes necessary for our industry was at the Idaho Work Comp conference in Boise on October 29, 2015 with my session “Injured Workers Are People Too.” When I changed employers in May the session title did too…”#WordsMatter – and so do actions & attitudes.” Overall, I’ve presented this content 24 times since October 2015. It’s been anywhere from an individual CE course to a breakout session to a keynote presentation. I’ve presented it in AZ, CA, FL, ID, KY, LA, MT, OR, SC, TX, UT and on a nationwide WorkCompCentral webinar. My audiences have totaled 2,522 people. (Yes, I do keep track). All of this happened while other influencers in our industry were talking about the same concepts (including Bob, whose primary focus is on changing the name of our industry from Workers’ Compensation to Workers’ Recovery and all that implies). These many voices talking about the “whole person” and treating injured workers as though they were your family (in the case of a self-insured employer, that’s actually a truism) have helped create momentum towards this advocacy-based model of claims handling. Not everyone is aboard yet, but many are. Those of us that have been talking about it aren’t going to change our message because ultimately, it’s about doing the right thing. Sooooo…Bob’s article about the mainstreaming of the concept at the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability conference is…rewarding. And motivating. Until our entire industry adopts that model, from the C-suite to the desktop, the message doesn’t change.
Continuous improvement means making small changes and improvements every day in order to see a significant change over time. Most often, we take the approach of setting a large goal and trying to reach it in big steps and as fast as possible. While this approach is easier to notice the effects in the day to day, it is not always the best option when tackling challenges. Continuous improvement, however, works. In fact, if you improve just 1 percent every day, by the time you are done you will be thirty-seven times better. Small choices add up.
“If you get one percent better each day for one year, you’ll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you’re done…this is why small choices don’t make much of a difference at the time, but add up over the long-term.” Everybody should agree that continuous improvement—career, family, health, relationships, skills—is a worthy aspiration. It’s easy to think the only way to improve is by massive leaps and bounds (which often means failure). But, in reality, it’s the little choices every moment of every day that dictate either progression or regression (because it’s impossible to stay the same). The three suggestions included in this article are: do more of what already works; avoid tiny losses; measure backward. What of these DO you do? What of these SHOULD you do? Spoiler alert–I’m not perfect (either). So many people want to make a change but think it has to be groundbreaking and obvious. Incremental change is much more doable (and maybe less obvious, but not at the end of 365 days). What “one percent” can you change today? And tomorrow? And the day after? Maybe the first “one percent” you (and I) need to change is how to change.
To read everything on my mind this past week, please visit me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/marks-musings-december-17-mark-rxprofessor-pew/.
Until next week,