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Embracing CHANGE
September 2009
In This Issue
Embracing CHANGE
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September 3
Greater Chamber Network: Build Your Business

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September 22
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I missed you all last month. Did you miss me?
 Embracing CHANGE
"I always wondered why somebody didn't do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody."  - Lily Tomlin

Too upset to write
I have only missed two issues of this newsletter since March 2004. One was August 2007, after my house was broken into. The second time was last month. In 2007, I was too upset to write. I found myself in a similar mood when last month rolled around.

All year, I have been writing about change. The last couple of months have been an interesting time for our country. The health care discussion has been a study in how people react to change.

In the interests of full disclosure, let me give you a little background. As a sole proprietor with existing conditions and a weight problem, I would like to find health insurance like my parents had, with a low premium that would cover only the worst of situations, such as hospitalization. I can afford an annual visit to the doctor, and I haven't needed any prescription drugs in the last eight years (I know I'm lucky).  But a doctor once wrote in my file that I had Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) without giving me so much as a lung function test. Clearing up my record is close to impossible.

By the end of July, I had watched way too much cable network news. I found the reactions to the health care situation unconscionable and I was taking the "debate" too personally. Watching the disrupted town hall meetings was causing me stress. Because I do not have health insurance, I take very good care of myself, so I pulled back from the fray.

Change and the health care "debate"
I'm now able to look at the subject a bit more dispassionately. Here's what I noticed. Remember the formula I showed you a couple of months ago?

Dissatisfaction  x  Vision  x  First Steps 
>  Resistance to Change

People who are happy with their coverage, will have a low "dissatisfaction" factor. If the "vision" is not presented clearly, there will be additional resistance. I doubt that many people in this country are low on the dissatisfaction scale. It is in the best interests of all of us to have a healthy population. Insurance premiums and health care costs continue to rise for all of us. Dissatisfaction will rise as employers reduce the amount they are able to pay for those with coverage through their employer. If more people lose jobs and find out how much that COBRA policy is, the frustration with the current system will skyrocket.

I think the bigger problem is in the "vision." Neither the House or Senate has come up with a clear plan, largely because of the legislative process in this country. The President set the agenda, but allowed Congress to come up with the plan, which is still in process. The lack of clarity has made it possible for those who do not want universal health care for whatever reason to interpret the proposals in ways that benefit their cause. The same can be said for those who want universal care.

Fear of change
For some, the health care discussion is an opportunity to express the fear they feel for other changes in the country. As one woman at a town hall meeting said, "I want my America back." I'm not sure what America she is talking about, but I don't think her view of this country is similar to mine.

Finding common ground
I am not going to accuse anyone of ulterior motives, but people who are unwilling to find common ground do the process no good.  When change has to happen because of an untenable situation, the best place to start is on those aspects we can agree on. Do we want to eliminate people being turned down for pre-existing conditions? Do we want to make sure everyone has basic care? Do we want to reduce the dollar amount on malpractice suits? Are there areas that most of us can agree on?

Change is inevitable. I pray that Congress will find a way to protect the health of all of us and communicate that vision to us. I also pray that people who fear these changes will look for common ground, rather than simply being "against" any change.

If you are interested in getting accurate information about this debate, please check You also might want to check out the T.R. Reid's article on health care in other countries. There are a number of good solutions out there.
blue puzzle Guadalupe Herrera at San Antonio College was the first to know that July is National Ice Cream Month. She wins a $25 gift certificate from Nicavid's.

For this month's puzzle...according to T.R. Reid, what country controls health costs the best? (I really want to get people to read that article. <grin>)

The first person with the correct answer will win a $25 gift certificate at Nicavid's.
Crystallizations Training
Watch this space next month for exciting new training programs that will help you through these difficult economic times. Meanwhile, if you know of an organization that could
benefit from training in Business Writing, Interpersonal Communications, or Customer Service, please forward this email to them or contact me to schedule a free training consultation.
San Antonio Association for Organization Development
I am honored to have been chosen as the Vice-President of Marketing for the San Antonio Association for Organization Development. This organization, started in 1998, is dedicated to being a leader in the advancement of the theory and practice of organization development by: 
  • Helping to define and communicate the values, purposes and benefits of organization development
  • Promoting the effective and ethical use of organization development principles, tools and best practices
  • Supporting practitioners through enhanced learning and professional development opportunities
  • Providing a values-based home for San Antonio area OD practitioners, researchers and educators to exchange ideas and create dialogue on critical issues
  • Sharing leadership and partnering with others to achieve our mission
If you want to be a part of an innovative, quickly growing group of people who care about continued improvement and innovation in organizations and who willingly share their best practices, please check our website.  Our next quarterly meeting is September 11 at the Norris Conference Center. We'll have a panel of experts from the area who are doing some amazing things with blended learning. You can register here. While you are on the website, be sure to check the membership promotion that runs though the end of this month.
Embrace change in 2009!