When bad is good

I’ve just seen a great example of conflicting measures. It’s from the NHS. Today’s Telegraph explains how NHS managers are deliberately making patients wait, as treating patients quickly “raises expectations”. What this actually means is that if you make people wait long enough (taking care to stay inside the current 18 week limit) they will either die or pay for treatment – thereby saving the NHS money. It’s interesting to see Andrew Lansley decry Trusts “gaming the system” as he’s quite happy to use rules, budgets and targets to drive behaviour, he just doesn’t want to own up to driving this particular type of behaviour.

Every organisation has some measures (often key ones) that will create apparently irrational or counterproductive behaviour in an attempt to optimise them both.Which measures in your organisation are driving strange and counter-productive behaviour?

If you’d like to be able to identify conflicting measures in your organisation, drop me a line ([email protected]) and I’d be happy to send you some materials on my Success Mapping tool.

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