“People Do Not Decide Their Futures…” — F.M. Alexander
What I Learned Today…
In reading a blog post written by Benjamin P. Hardy ( https://medium.com/@benjaminhardy ) I came across a quote from F. M. Alexander, which Benjamin used. This quote is “People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures.” This quote struck a chord with me for two reasons. First, it is a great segue from my post yesterday on culture. Second, because this is the cross-roads I am currently entertaining. Benjamin had some really good information in his post ( https://medium.com/@benjaminhardy/how-to-finish-2016-like-a-rock-star-and-have-more-momentum-in-2017-than-you-know-what-to-do-with-487c4c5b7c40?source=user_profile---------3- ) and I encourage you to read it. However, what I found most profound was F.M. Alexander’s quote.
In my previous post on culture, I noted in order for vision to re-create a culture, one must be willing to fully accept the vision and then behave in such a way as to reproduce the accepting behavior in others. Without a change in behavior there can be no visionary change in a culture. Benjamin paralleled that concept perfectly in his quote by Alexander. Our habits determine our futures. Without a change in habit there is no hope for a change in our futures.
In business this can be seen daily as businesses rise and fall. Often it seems the rise is based on innovative vision by a leader or group of leaders who focus on a culture reflecting the current trends. What happens next is determined by the behavior of the culture. Trends come and go. What is new and unique today is outdated and obsolete tomorrow. When a business is unwilling to let go of yesterday (a.k.a. the way we’ve always done it) and unable to remain current (a.k.a. innovation based on a solid foundation of the newest technology, research, and business climate change) they too run the risk of being a trend.
Yes, I know this does not happen every time. Some industries are able to continue to remain productive and viable, but I do not believe it is because they are immune to such situations. I believe they might just happen to be an industry that is more difficult to harness. For example, healthcare- I’m not going to get into reform, if to reform, not to reform, how to reform, where to reform, or when to reform. Those are discussions for people much smarter and more informed than I. What I will say is for a very long time healthcare operated on the business as usual method, but it seems that rug has been pulled out from under healthcare in many ways.
What I have observed however startlingly echoes Alexander’s words. For so long healthcare has allowed habit to determine its future, instead of taking the reins and allowing their vision of the future determine their habits. Now what appears to be happening is their neglectful habit of business as usual has allowed other’s, especially outside of this unique industry, to grab the reins and yoke healthcare into a submission of change. Please do not misunderstand, I realize healthcare has often been tops in research and revolutionary care practices; I’m speaking of the business of healthcare, not the practice of healthcare. Remember, this is my beloved industry, but like a parent with a spoiled child, at some point one must realize discipline is also a form of love.
What I learned from Alexander’s quote and Benjamin’s post is everyone may just have been better off if the healthcare industry had realized its complacency in business and applied a little discipline to itself, rather than risk a stronger yoke of bureaucracy. How does this apply to me and maybe even you? In order to do my best in my industry, I need to be willing to stay current, to change when its best, and to apply a loving dose of discipline to ensure my habits don’t become my yoke.