This morning I was reminded of the extreme trouble we can cause each other by putting too much emphasis on compliance. I was in a discussion on the impact Avian Flu could have on the dental industry. I decided to contact an organization I rarely work with and find out if they have any plans for responding to a human outbreak of the virus. Their brief reply was revealing:
“[we] will follow the proper protocol and work with the CDC to insure compliance in the event of a flu pandemic”.
While this reply is technically accurate, it reminds me of a theme I sometimes see in business culture; if we follow protocol and comply with federal and state standards, we will be safe. Safe from most legal action, yes. Safe from hurting individuals and organizations, no. When avoiding legal ramifications becomes the primary intent of written protocol, there is a problem. Business decisions, people decisions, cannot begin and end with the letter of the law. I think we all prefer to work with individuals and organizations who understand the need for intuitive readiness to precede the requirements of legal compliance.
Will Avian flu become a human pandemic? Will individuals, families, and organizations be ready? Visit pandemicflu.gov for more details.