Saturday, October 23, 2010

Is Nurse Bryan On Your Estate?

Peter Drucker reflected on workplace standards in his book, The Effective Executive:

A new hospital administrator, holding his first staff meeting, thought that a rather difficult matter had been settled to everyone's satisfaction, when one of the participants suddenly asked: "Would this have satisfied Nurse Bryan?"  At once, the argument started all over and did not subside until a new and much more ambitious solution to the problem had been hammered out.
Nurse Bryan, the administrator learned, had been a long-serving nurse at the hospital.  She was not particularly distinguished, had not in fact ever been a supervisor. But whenever a decision on patient care came up on her floor, Nurse Bryan would ask, "Are we doing the best we can do to help this patient?"  Patients on Nurse Bryan's floor did better and recovered faster.  Gradually over the years, the whole hospital had learned to adopt what came to be known as the "Nurse Bryan's Rule"; had learned, in other words, to ask: "Are we really making the best contribution to the purpose of this hospital?"

Though Nurse Bryan herself had retired almost ten years earlier, the standards she had set still made demands on people who, in terms of training and position, were her superiors.

We often think of the Estate Manager as inspiring the standards, yet perhaps there are some special staff members around that are just as, if not more, tuned in to what type of service is needed to fulfill the purpose of the staff and create success for the estate operation.

Is there a Nurse Bryan working on your estate?