Free up your time, with technology, to protect your people
In the health & human performance world, it is very common to hear how certain technologies may not be needed because the practitioner or organization can already do it themselves. When sharing our solution with practitioners or scientists we often hear “we already do that in house” or “we’re building our own database”. This perspective is common in any industry; accountants used to use written ledgers, then moved to excel spreadsheets, now they use more advanced specific financial software. Physicians used to collect and analyze bloodwork themselves, the list goes on. The common thread to all of this innovation is that the wrong question is being asked. We should not be asking if the “technology does what we already do” but rather the question should be “can the technology do what we do already…faster?” This better question yields the ultimate goal of freeing your time for more better things.
Humans over hardware
Ultimately the goal of practitioners is to encourage and nurture the habit changes within individuals so they can achieve a better health state. If practitioners are spending all of the time collecting, organizing, cleansing, and presenting the data…what time is left to build the relationship with the individual? That relationship is the most crucial part of habit change. Trust has to exist for the individual to listen, and ultimately embrace the information that supports better habits. Data alone can never change habits, there has to be a strong and often escalating level of trust in the information. Perhaps it is why the US Special Operations Forces (SOF) chose “Humans are More important than Hardware” as their #1 Truth.
Yet, the 5th and final SOF Trust is, “Most special operations require non-SOF support,” explaining that “the operational effectiveness of our deployed forces cannot be, and never has been, achieved without being enabled by…engineers, technicians, intelligence analysts, and the numerous other professions that contribute to SOF…” So, if practitioners must be focused on building relationships through the education of data & technology, what about scientists such as engineers, technicians, analysts, or even sports scientists?
Time is our most valuable resource
The scientist’s role is generally two-fold. First and foremost, the scientists ensure the data & technology is accurate & actionable, and continues to be, to ensure the organization can function operationally. This path can be neglected due to its lack of novelty, yet it is critical because warfighters & athletes are in the fight and cannot wait or be distracted. The second role of scientists is the discovery of new data & technologies, a path that is separate and often occurring in parallel (often unseen to practitioners and individuals). Where the largest challenge currently exists is pursuing these paths in tandem because “discovery data & technology” is a work in progress, not yet proven, presenting both a distraction from simplistic actions and potentially inconsistent information until the metrics are formalized.
So when pursuing existing or new technology, the question should be “can the technology do what I do already…just faster?” If yes, the organization should proceed with the ultimate goal of freeing your time for better things; practitioners have more time to build trust & relationships and scientists have more time to stabilize this information and potentially explore new data & technology in a separate path.