I had an interesting conversation today with a Director of IT Security from a large healthcare provider in Delaware who is a customer of mine.
The conversation was mostly to do with what his daily responsibilities were, how he balanced competing priorities and to gain a better understanding of his particular challenges.
I went into this meeting with my only desire to better understand him as a person and see how I could be of better value to him as my customer.
I did not expect to come away from the conversation with real world cases of how culture within an organization can change over time, but I have found when you keep your ears open it is surprising what people will say.
Some of you may have experience with healthcare providers, either as a patient or perhaps in a business relationship. I am sure that one thing we can all agree upon is that as a rule they can be slow to adopt, adapt and mature.
This may be hardwired into the DNA of the organization. I know that when I break my leg a doctor will put a cast in it because that has been proven to work through millions of previous experiences.
This can be the desired outcome versus the doctor that decides to try a different remedy for every broken leg.
As I was speaking with my customer he said one thing that struck me. He said, “slow is smooth, smooth is fast.”
He was saying this in reference to his desire to shape the culture to be more security conscience. However, he understood that if radical changes were made overnight he would lose the support of the organization. Instead he was implementing incremental changes over time to affect change.
Isn’t this the desired outcome?
As I think through this, there are times when radical change is needed, but typically it’s at the personal level that it is achieved.
Obvious examples being taking up exercise, limiting the amount of alcohol or taking up a new routine.
Try and push that on your friends or family overnight and good luck!
It takes time and buy-in from the group to effect lasting change.
That leaves us with a question that I do not yet have the answer to.
How do we achieve the change that is desired?
Image credit: becosky