#7 of 8 from "If Disney Ran Your Hospital" (by Fred Lee): Employee dissatisfaction is in, employee complacency is out

If Disney Ran Your Hospital, employees would have a healthy dissatisfaction with their current performance.

Not that people would be first-class complainers, but they would never be satisfied with the current level of performance. They would always be thinking/ scheming/ dreaming/ striving for the next level. In some sense, this is just another way of saying what Jim Collins said in his book Good to Great:

Good is the enemy of Great

The greatest companies in the world all had to make a very difficult transition - going from good to great. How do we motivate people who are already doing a good job? How do we get them to dream bigger?

Fred Lee shares a recipe from Martin Stankard, a national Malcolm Baldridge Award examiner:

Dissatisfaction with "as is" + Dream of "could be" + knowledge of "how to" > Organizational Interia.

Part of creating a "culture of dissatisfaction" is using statistics wisely. If patient satisfaction scores are already at 95%, what motivation do people have to change? Do what Disney does. Measure the % of all respondents who are "very satisfied," the 5 out of 5 scores. That creates the kind of environment where staff don't get complacent, but get creative. Even at great organizations (e.g. Disney), that score is probably 60-70%. That's a D / C-!

Part of "dream of could be" is to help your staff envision what greatness would taste like, feel like, smell like, look like. It's gotta be vivid, clear, and it has to balance idealism with realism.

Listen or read Martin Luther King, Jr's speech. Apart from the amazing person he was, we can all learn from him on how to cast a vision. His use of stories, metaphors, and analogies is absolutely masterful. His audience had plenty of dissatisfaction, and so he wisely supplied the other two components: the dream and the knowledge.

Keep in mind that all 3 ingredients are needed. Vision alone becomes lofty ideas that are quickly forgotten and subjugated to the daily demands of the job. Dissatisfaction alone creates frustration, angst, and a destructive culture. Knowledge alone has no way of energizing and persisting in change. The leaders have to provide all three.

The golf world was amazed when Tiger Woods, during the peak of his dominance, decided to completely change his swing. Why, Tiger, why?

Read what he has to say in this GolfDigest article. This is a man who has a healthy obsession to be constantly improving. Sure he was beating the rest of the competition by 10 shots or more before the change, but he knew he could be better and more consistent. So he changed his swing. Even though his transition to the new swing has cost him a few years of losing big, Tiger seems to be back again, better, more consistent, and more amazing than before.

8-Part Series on "If Disney Ran Your Hospital"

The 8 Big Impact Ideas from “If Disney Ran Your Hospital”
1. Perceptions > Reality
2. Courtesy > Efficiency
3. Patient Loyalty > Patient Satisfaction
4. Experience > Service > Product
5. Intrinsic Motivation > Extrinsic Motivation
6. Habit > Imagination > Willpower > Compliance
7. Dissatisfaction > Complacency
8. Doing > Knowing