The prevention mindset can be vital in specific situations.
A mistake in any other company may damage your profit, but mistakes in high-risk environments, such as the operating room or the cockpit, can cost lives. As the general manager of our medical centres, I must prioritise the margin of patient safety. It is this mindset that guides me in resource management, investing in equipment like HEPA filters, which filter the air in the operating room to prevent contamination; and AEDs (automated external defibrillators), in case our patients experience sudden cardiac arrest.
A great management technique that I use to prevent devastating mistakes is called crew resource management (CRM).
It was developed by the aviation industry to eliminate human errors that can cause catastrophic consequences. The technique focuses on different non-technical (soft) skills, including co-operation, leadership, decision making and situational awareness. In the healthcare setting, it encourages clear communication and actions. The same principles can be applied in other situations and businesses, too, even if they aren’t necessarily dealing with life-or-death circumstances.
A good leader needs both the prevention mindset and the promotion mindset,
which refers to the desire to make progress and grow. Some may think of the former as more pessimistic and restrictive, but risk awareness and management don’t mean limiting yourself from exploring new possibilities and ideas. It just means you need to have plans and be prepared for anything when treading new ground.
I like to view prevention as laying the foundation for growth.
Like playing a computer game, we need to make sure we survive first – by not making mistakes that will end the game prematurely – before attempting higher scores and levels. It’s the same in life; if you want to make real progress, you wouldn’t want to be stopped by preventable mistakes in the process, would you?
Preventive care can help create healthier, happier communities. Read about the Power of Caring with Prudential’s Priscilla Ng.
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