Truth And Consequences

There once was a television show called “Truth Or Consequences.” I can remember watching the version that Bob Barker hosted.

I offered some thoughts on Truth in this blog post for the ThedaCare Center For Healthcare Value.

Here are some thoughts on consequences.

I had the good fortune to participate in a coaching education and training session at one of our Healthcare Value Network member organizations last week. They have been learning about guiding principles for enterprise excellence. One of the important points about these principles is that they govern consequences. While values govern behavior, principles govern consequences. I often see these two blended together, but there really is an important distinction.

The executive management at this organization has been doing a lot of great work focused on learning about these guiding principles. They have taken their organizational values and anchored them to the guiding principles. The result was an articulation of “ideal behavior.”

This coaching course was one of the initial introduction of these ideal behaviors to the next level of management. The word “consequences” came up.

The traditional view of “consequences” conjures up images of punishment. That’s not the kind of consequences we were talking about last week. We are not talking about the CEO or anyone in top management checking to see if people are following the ideal behaviors. The focus here is “compliance.”

The kind of consequences were were talking about are the consequences of not understanding the guiding principles. For instance, if I don’t fully understand the principle of “think systemically” I might unintentionally make matters worse for someone else in my system through my actions or best efforts. The focus here is “understanding and commitment.”

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