Strategic Observations

I don’t want to talk POLITICS!!!


            This is often a common response by business, professional leaders. They believe that politics are too controversial and not associated with their businesses, healthcare and education professions.

            I wish this was true! At one time a business man, doctor, educator could just focus on their specialties and not get involved with governments and politics. But this is not true today.

            All businesses, healthcare organizations, educational institutions are increasingly regulated, told how to deal with employees, how much they have to pay entry level personnel, the kind of healthcare they must provide and hundreds of other areas.

            I strongly believe that all leaders in all organizations must determine what is good for their organizations and then take stands to assure that their organizations are not negatively impacted by laws, regulations and “executive orders”.

            This doesn’t mean that they ignore social issues but that they are willing to INFLUENCE policies and not just sit back and permit others cause harm to themselves, their organizations, their stakeholders.

            They must learn the art of seeking the “balanced best interests” for all.

Diagnosis is the essence of any profession

But appears to be lacking in healthcare!!!

Whether it is a healthcare provider, lawyer, financial advisor, strategy consultant, the first and often most important step is to diagnosis the client’s situation and determine what they need.

              An article in the September 13, 2016 WSJ entitled “The Key to Reducing Doctors’ Misdiagnoses” describes how a large variety of common diseases such as pneumonia, cancer and urinary-tract infections were missed on the initial visit. The article prescribes some reasons and then how “artificial intelligence” and better training can solve this “critical issue”. However I think that some of the major reasons for poor “diagnoses” are:

1.     Not enough time with patients to really understand what their problems are (15 minutes is the normal visit time and this is not enough time to do a professional job)

2.     Health history is lacking and even if it exists, most providers don’t have the time or take the time to review it before the visit. In addition the patient may not know his or her medical history.

3.     Diagnosing like any problem solving is a combination of training, skill and experience and it is not a gift all providers have.

4.     Getting paid…most of the insurance and government programs don’t provide sufficient funding to do the right job.

In short it is vital that diagnoses improve but it requires a change in the current healthcare practices and the increasing pressure to improve productivity, reduce costs and automate the system.


Adapting past sales approaches to fit the NEW RETAIL REALITY.

WSJ reports  

Ding-Dong! Best Buy and Amazon Bring Back the Traveling Salesman  With consultation programs, employees visit customers’ homes to recommend and even install products

 Best Buy and Amazon are sending employees into consumers’ homes to recommend electronics. 

  • Best Buy is hiring hundreds of salespeople to sit down with consumers inside their homes and recommend electronics to buy, part of a free service it has been testing in several cities and plans to roll out across the U.S. this fall.
  • The company hopes its in-home salespeople will help drive sales of TVs and gadgets at a time when fewer people are visiting shopping centers, as well as drum up business for Best Buy’s Geek Squad, which provides tech repairs and in-home installations for a fee.The new program “allows us to unlock latent demand,” Best Buy Chief Executive Hubert Joly said in an interview. “What we’re finding is people in the home tend to spend more because we address a bigger need for them compared to what they spend in the store.”
  • Amazon, meanwhile, is expanding a program that sends its employees into homes to provide free “smart home consultations” and let shoppers test its Echo smart speakers and voice-controlled devices. These consultants can also provide fee-based installation services after shoppers purchase the gadgets on Amazon. The Seattle-based company launched the service in its home market in July 2016 and has since expanded to six other cities. It has job listings for technicians in additional markets, such as Chicago and Hoboken, N.J.
  • Best Buy’s in-home advisers are salaried traveling sales consultants. Mr. Goldsmith gives customers his phone number and makes repeat home visits free of charge. Unlike its Geek Squad workers who fix gadgets, Best Buy’s in-home advisers are traveling sales consultants who are paid a salary or on an hourly basis, not commissions. Based on the customer’s needs, they provide product recommendations, ranging from HP and Apple laptops to Amazon Echo and Google Home devices. The prices cited are the same as in the company’s store or website.
  • At Amazon, the in-home appointments are booked via its website, and a different employee may make follow-up visits, though armed with data collected from previous consultations.
  • To free up costs for new services, Best Buy has been outsourcing some tech support jobs at its Geek Squad unit to Accenture , which uses cheaper labor in the Philippines. Last month, the retail chain eliminated about 400 U.S. Geek Squad positions for online and phone tech support.
  • Increasing face-to-face interactions in the home could help with sales of extended warranties. Warranties accounted for nearly $900 million of Best Buy’s $40 billion annual sales, but analysts say the high-margin offering made up a significant share of the company’s profit, which was about $1.2 billion last year.

“This is not a zero-sum game between Amazon and Best Buy,” said Mr. Joly. “There’s room, frankly, for several players.”

I grew up during WWII and during my life have been involved in several "life taking" incidents like hurricanes and so on. It is interesting that WE ARE AT OUR BEST IN CRISIS..when we have local or national situation, like today's HOUSTON flooding...EVERYONE tries to HELP.. we see those with boats helping to save those trapped .. we don't ask " are you white, black, Moslem, Hispanic..we do everything to help those in need...
WHAT CAN WE DO TO MAKE EVEN SIMPLE ISSUES appear to be a CRISIS and move to unite to help everyone in need and even those who are not in need???...pray that this can happen.