I got this insight from one of our Viral Change™ clients in the health care sector. We were talking about values and behaviours in a hospital setting and how these affect the life of patients whilst within those walls. We have been working on this for many months now and the Viral Change™ Mobilizing Platform is working extraordinary well. We all, clients and ourselves, are very proud of that.
But this colleague was pointing out something as obvious as often overlooked. She said, ‘the patient is with us for a week…we have a week to make a difference in the other 51’. And she did not mean medically or health wise only. I know her well, and she meant difference in the set of life values that we were working on all the time: feeling valued, compassion, care, dignity, perhaps hope, respect, certainly kindness and the whole set of ‘the humanity package’. In a week.
I was struck by the power of looking at what happens next versus what we are doing now, what is left behind versus what is now on the table, the day after versus the D-Day.
It’s an incredible powerful way of thinking. Some people, like that health care worker, are blessed with this . But it can be learnt. We can force ourselves to think like this.
What happens after the seminar, leadership programme or offsite meeting, is far more important than what happens at the time. In Viral Change™ we put together very carefully peer-selected champions/activists in intense 2 days immersions that we call Boot Camps. But these are vehicles to launch what happens that day after, and then that goes for months. In themselves are just vehicles, not an end. Yet, I find often difficult to force people to think on day 3 of a 2 day Bootcamp. It is the rest of the non-Boot Camps dates that matter, when the entire diffusion of behaviours and shaping of the social movement takes place. It’s the 51 weeks, not the 1 week, as that colleague said.
This re-framing is powerful, it has zero cost, it focus your energy.
From now, I will call it the 51 week problem.