Prevention is the best medicine. We've all heard this at some point in our lives, and it’s not just about green-juicing your way to glowing health. From our physical health to our professional lives, taking proactive steps to prevent problems from arising is always preferable to waiting until they become too big to handle. This is especially true when it comes to teams and institutions that work under pressure, which is pretty much all of our sector!
When it comes to healthcare, we all seem to accept the importance of preventative measures. Whether it's getting regular check-ups, eating a healthy diet, or exercising regularly, taking care of ourselves in small ways can prevent serious health issues from arising later on. But too often, we wait until we're experiencing symptoms before seeking medical attention. As Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, puts it: "We've got a sick-care system, not a health-care system." We focus on treating symptoms instead of preventing problems in the first place.
The same is true in the world of business. It's easy to fall into the trap of reactive problem-solving, waiting until something goes wrong before taking action. Coaches see it all the time. As author Michael Bungay Stanier points out, "It's harder to solve a problem when you're in a reactive state." When we're stressed, overwhelmed, and scrambling to put out fires, we're not in the best position to come up with effective solutions to the root problem. By taking a proactive approach, we can avoid many of these problems in the first place.
At a team meeting some weeks ago, Puri, our Paid Media Specialist, mentioned that she saw geNEOus as a doctor, in the way that we work with clients. When we explored this with her, Puri reasoned that it was because we provide them with the tools and insights they need to identify potential issues before they become serious problems, but only after conducting a thorough “check up” of an organization’s marketing and branding strategy, identifying areas for improvement, and making actionable recommendations for how to address those areas. Oh, and of course further check ups to support and guide. That does actually sound quite like us.
According to a report by McKinsey & Company, organizations that take a proactive approach to problem-solving are more likely to outperform their peers. The report found that "proactive companies...often spend more on problem prevention than reactive ones do, but they invest in a more focused, more data-driven way, often through targeted analytics."
In other words, it's not about spending more money or working harder. It's about working smarter and being more strategic. We often talk about “agile” teams as if they are groups which respond and adapt to changes in their environment, but sometimes that also means acting before your environment changes, or before an issue becomes a full-blown crisis. By investing in preventative measures, teams can avoid many of the problems that would otherwise slow them down or hold them back.
We get it. It's not always easy to see where potential problems may lie, when you are buried in such a routine and familiar environment. That's where an external source of support can really add value. By bringing in an outside perspective and specialized expertise, they can help teams to see things they may not have been aware of before. geNEOus, not to be confused with the dictionary suffix -genous, is the new, old kid on the medical block, whose expertise you never knew you needed, till now.
We came across a client review online of a well-known business coach called David Parrish. It said “I wouldn’t necessarily rush to call him if I had chest pains or a strange rash. But when my business needs a little plaster or even some minor surgery, he is someone I would trust to find a way of making it healthy again. As well as offering practical and common sense advice, he opens the door just enough for me to push it through to solve problems and to sometimes self medicate”. We loved this because, as Puri saw, this summed up exactly how we work too.
One of the key benefits of taking a preventative and proactive approach is that it allows teams to work more smoothly and efficiently. When everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals, it's easier to avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications. In fast-paced environments like a university admissions office, that is critical.
So yes, Puri, we guess we are a bit like doctors, because whether it's in healthcare, business or the world of education, prevention is the best medicine. And just to add, for the sake of doubt, that it is just an analogy. We won’t turn up to your organization with a stethoscope, unless you specifically request it. The point is well made, however, that if you need someone to come in and give a checkup, offer some help and support, spot issues coming down the line and help you to identify and address the root cause, then there’s no time like the present to get in touch.