Greetings. Today is the day for my annual physical exam. And because I have a good health insurance policy, I'll be able to go to the doctor of my choice, have the tests she thinks I need and get a thorough review of the current state of my health and guidance for the year ahead. I'm reasonably upbeat about the appointment. During the past year I've tried to watch my weight, tried to eat a relatively healthy and balanced diet, tried to exercise with greater consistency and focus and made an effort to control stress at home and at work. So as I approach the exam I feel, knock on wood (or at least particle board), pretty healthy.
Which leads us to the topic of healthcare, or more specifically to the importance of asking the right questions. Because if we ask the wrong questions we limit our ability to succeed in life, business or at the doctor's office. As the "debate" about healthcare rages in Congress, the media and a host of other forums, it seems that the most important question is rarely asked. You see, I'm not particularly interested in having "healthcare." Sure its a good thing to have, and even essential, when you really need it. But what I want is to have "health." To be as healthy as possible for as long as possible. To just "check in" with my favorite medical professionals at the appropriate times–based on the state of knowledge–to make sure that my balanced health scorecard remains in balance. And if my objective from a policy standpoint is to create the healthiest community or nation on the planet, as opposed to the one with the most healthcare, I'd develop a very different plan. One that focused on wellness, education, preventative diagnostics, early detection, preemptive treatment, diet and food safety, exercise and activity, environmental security and life balance. And I'd commit to providing access to health over access to healthcare. So while we need to improve the healthcare system before it bankrupts all of us, we would be far better off as a nation if we improved our individual and collective health and made us less dependent on the need for healthcare.
This very same logic applies to every single business or organization. Because most customers aren't very interested in getting high levels of care. What they really want is products, services and solutions that enable them to achieve their objectives without interruption. Things that work and, in the quiet of the night, repair or upgrade themselves. In fact, they only need technical support, return policies, extended protection plans and features that don't matter when we haven't kept them healthy. They want the promise of the Energizer Bunny. To keep going and going and going. And that's what they deserve.