Friday afternoon at 4:00 PM I just finished the second of two calls — one from a doctor’s assistant, and one from a lab assistant – apologizing for the mixups and disconnects this week. Outcome: I now have both of my High Tech tests scheduled at two different cancer centers about an hour to the north of us. I’m scheduled to have them at the first part of next week. And it’s a Level 5 outcome because another lab where the test would have been conducted couldn’t work me in for two weeks, a Level 4 outcome.
As I have dialog with these two different assistants about how to prepare for the tests — diet, fasting before arriving, etc. — I have a clear sense that they are both caring and knowledgeable workers in their jobs, as defined.
I accept their apologies, and their help, and then briefly explain an important principle I’ve learned about human performance in complex systems:
If you place good people in a bad system, the system will win.
(I attribute this quote to Edwards Demming, but unsure at post time)
Neither of them comment on my comment, and I didn’t expect them to. I then quickly add that when I get through this phase of the process, I’ll send an email to all parties explaining what I’ve experienced and observed, hopefully to help reduce rework, frustration, and apologies. Thanks, and Goodbye.
This week I found myself filling in the “white space” defined by Gearry Rummler in his book, “Improving Performance: Managing the White Space in the Organization Chart.” Adding to the problem, there were different organizations, and no org charts.
The reason I describe the above event this way, is to say that I have always tried to use my tools and skills as a performance engineer to “leave the campground a little cleaner” and better organized, than I found it — which is meeting a Zone 4 Challenge on the High Road.
Being fully-engaged in some organizations with the processes (or Journey), as well as the outcomes (Destination) of important projects has given me a great opportunity to personally learn and grow, and to contribute something new — perhaps something none of us had known before. When things become clear, they no longer seem complex, and from this far side of complexity, sometimes they even seem to be profoundly simple.