Love More (at work)


How do we measure love?

Love isn't a feeling we talk much about at work, but we should. Because love is what connects us to each other. And if work in a healthcare delivery organization isn't love, what is it? Just a job? That's a hard pill to swallow.

Not enough workplaces resonate with love. You've probably worked somewhere that has, hopefully right at this moment. We use words other than love to describe the experience: aligned, fulfilling, engaging, supportive, challenging, connected, innovative, collaborative, rewarding. But it's all love. Perhaps you have a few more descriptors of your own.

My colleague and I rely on an assessment when evaluating the team dynamics and development needs in a clinic location: the sense of the place you get when you walk in for the first time. We used to talk about it as "the sense of the place we get when we walk in." Now I'm calling it: The Love Factor.

It's there or it's not.

Some might think of the practice as too subjective (what's so wrong with subjective data?) or not scientific enough—but isn't it as about as scientific as it gets? Using what makes us human to experience human things?

Sure, we need to measure for various reasons. Metrics can be helpful. But where's the room for love on the dashboard? Or in the annual report?

Plenty of places don't resonate with love, and more-or-less do fine or even better than fine. But when there isn't love, you know it immediately. You can feel it. Patients can, too.

Zappos, the online shoe seller, used to produce a culture book every year where every employee had the opportunity to express their love for Zappos—not the company per se, but ... well the love that was produced by all the love at Zappos between employees and in delighting customers. Then it got screwed up. And lots of people left. Now it's owned by Amazon. I wonder how much love is left at Zappos?

Perhaps love doesn't pay the bills. Perhaps. Though it's not a point I'm looking to concede at this moment because I haven't had a chance to really think about this one.

I've recently finished a book by Duff McDonald. It's titled "Tickled." It was tremendous. It's where I picked up this love idea. Originally he set out to write a book about our culture's (and his) obsession with numbers, data, and predictions. Then the pandemic started. And he realized that numbers, data, and predictions have a way of getting in the way being human. It's worth a read. His prescription: Love more.

Love more.

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Through The Work is a talent development studio for healthcare leadership embracing The Transforming—the always-happening, always-unfolding state of change in your job ... and using it to make more of the change you know should be happening, happen.

The Transforming is the most important professional opportunity of our careers—one that will lead to new job opportunities, real change, and a transformed industry for all of us and everyone else.

My name is Drew Weilage and I work in healthcare, too. At Through The Work, I assist people like you with the skills, attitudes, and points-of-view to propel your professional success. It's personal training for a transforming world of work.

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