Leaders and educators take note:
According to The Kipplinger Letter, 25% of mortgages in the U.S. are underwater; that is people owe more than their homes are worth.
USA Today reports that among Medicare patients, 44% of the harm done by medical treatment clearly or likely was preventable.
Two startling statistics, one about education and responsibility and the other about excellence and quality control.
Neither statistic is a cause. Both are symptoms.
Not every underwater loan is the fault of the borrower (few predicted the abrupt decline in home values). The lack of understanding (or just bad advice) about debt and leverage are the cause of misery for many. Uninformed borrowers and lenders are both causes for some of these problems.
Clearly preventable harm is a critical quality control issue. When mistakes are made in healthcare, people are hurt or die. The concept of “routine work” in healthcare is dangerous. Clerical mistakes in accounting rarely have the same impact as a mistake in medication.
Education, responsibility, quality control, excellence–these topics often illicit yawns from readers and listeners…that is until they become startling statistics with personal impact.
Good leaders and communicators talk about how to avoid startling statistics, not just how to deal with them.
What are you doing to prevent regrettable numbers and startling statistics in your work and life? Research, identify and address causes before they become startling statistics.