If you’re planning to attend the annual conference of the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL) conference in San Antonio the week of April 11, please make a point of stopping by the exhibit hall. The first thing you will see is our 600 square-foot Values Pavilion. While they last, we’ll be giving nurse leaders who stop by a 60-page preview of my forthcoming book Proceed Until Apprehended! Leadership for What Matters.
You will also see this banner inside the pavilion. In my opening keynote for the National Evidence-Based Practice Conference on April 20, I’ll be speaking about the importance of courageous leadership to assure quality and safety in healthcare.
One of the things I’ll address is the paradox that courageous leadership requires looking backward and forward, sometimes simultaneously.It takes courage to look at the facts, look at the evidence, and change practices that are deeply ingrained and that many people do not feel need to be changed.
When air carriers overcame pilots’ objections to “cookbook flying” and required preflight safety checklists, safety improve dramatically. In a repeat of history, the same thing happened when surgeons’ objections to “cookbook medicine“ were overcome and pre-surgical checklist were mandated.
On the other hand, it takes courage to know when to disregard past evidence and imagine something new. When Steve Jobs was given market research showing that there would be a worldwide demand for no more than 50 personal computers, he disregarded “the evidence” and moved ahead anyway. His famous “reality distortion field” sparked the imagination of his design team, and eventually changed the world.
The 3-minute video below is a quick preview of the paradox of looking at past evidence to establish best practices of today, and creating imaginary evidence to establish even better practices tomorrow.