As corporate professionals, or even as professionals working in the advertising industry, we are always on the lookout for learnings. I am no different. From dealing with clients to handling everyday situations within my family, there are little nuggets that I find every day and imbibe them in my life.
My latest bit of epiphany came to me in the unlikeliest of places – the hospital.
In the last couple of months, I have visited the hospital a couple of times - sometimes in person and sometimes as guest. The silver lining, strangely, was this learning. Being hospitalized is all about recuperating, but it does give one a lot of time to think and reflect. And that’s just what I did.
Hospitals have come a long way from being centers of treatment, to experiential hospitality centers. Which makes me question, what triggers this? Cool ideas? Amazing ambience? Or word-class experiential facilities - not only for the patient, but for the guest and attendants, too?
In many ways, a hospital is quite like any corporate business – made up of functions within subfunctions. All of it running as the many cogs and wheels of the bigger machinery. The only thing that keeps such a massive ecosystem working at any time, is the fact that each of its arms are always communicating with the other. The moment feedback is not reflected or conveyed back to the affected part of the system, it starts showing signs of decay. Unfulfilled requirements cause bad opinions to spread, and eventually, they end up eating into the system. Which finally may end up causing its downfall or turning it into barely a shadow of what it originally was.
In a board room, some of the craziest ideas on paper float around – however, when it comes to executing them, it is more like a Chinese whisper, with only 50%
of such ideas seeing the light of day. The basic challenge thus lies in implementation – or the ‘review section’. Because a successful deployment of a format or a process is not nearly enough, you need active reviews and feedback, as well. “Chalo! Woh bhi karenge”. This is what is mostly said. But does the feedback actually get implemented? That is where the real gap lies.
As mentioned earlier, there are entire systems that have been put into place to mitigate this problem. From excel sheets to complex intranets and what have you, all working towards one goal – to translate feedback into action. But all of it can end up going down the drain, if there is no human element to interject and implement the relevant feedback at the right time. As an organization grows bigger and bigger, the stakeholders in any decision-making process keep increasing in number, thus providing room for as many flaws. This leads to higher downtime, and often, complete disregard of the task, however many the processes.
The magic word that I am talking about is ACCOUNTABILITY. If there is no accountability, there can be no success. Easier said than done, this is becoming more difficult to come by, with each process often spanning over a dozen stakeholders. What happens to you is only 10% – how you react to it makes up the other 90%. In summation, if one does not understand the overall nature of the problem and actually strives to solve it as a whole, tasks can go haywire. And something that should never have been an issue to begin with, ends up becoming a red flag to the highest echelons of the management.
Be ACCOUNTABLE. It might be the only thing stopping you from turning your task or business from a ‘hospital’ into ‘hospitality’.