A couple of weeks ago, we did our first “Diagnosis and Review” session as part of hoshin planning. Diagnosis and Review is the opportunity for an organization to assess where they are at with their various projects and initiatives: what’s working well, what’s not working well, and what course corrections may be necessary.
Over the years, we’ve been told by more than one consultant that we’re an “interesting” group to facilitate — both our leadership team and the whole staff. We’re still not sure if that’s a compliment or not. But we’ve heard it enough times to recognize that these outside observers have identified something in our behavior that we weren’t aware of.
Christine Dunn, our consultant from John Black and Associates, began by saying that she was going to use a phrase to keep us moving forward and prevent us from over-thinking/over analyzing our discussions. That phrase was “good enough to go”. As a facilitator, when she felt we had come to some level of agreement or consensus she would ask us “Is it good enough to go?”.
Since that session, we’ve been using that phrase a lot around here. When it feels like we’re over-thinking or over-analyzing something, we challenge each other by asking “is it good enough to go?”. Usually, it is.
It’s been interesting to watch us incorporate this new mantra into our organizational culture. On the one hand, it’s great because it keeps us moving forward, prevents us from spinning our wheels, and focuses us on making a decision. This “good enough to go” mentality feels similar to “small tests of change,” which are a critical part of quality improvement (QI) — and something that we often don’t practice as much as we preach it in our own work at HQC.
At times though, I do worry that our new “good enough to go” catch phrase may prevent us from having the deeper, sometimes difficult conversations we need, to sort through the complexities in our work internally, and in our work to support the health care system.
I’m beginning to see that you need a balance of the two. You need the permission to move forward and to encourage others to do so. But at the same time, you don’t want to miss out on the difficult conversations that can help get you to to a new level of creative, innovative thinking — which is also important for improving our systems.
Perhaps we need an adapted version of the serenity prayer:
Grant me the ability to accept when things are good enough to go,
The courage to have the conversations when things aren’t good enough to go,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Then again, maybe I’m over-thinking it…