Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Atul Gawande on how good ideas spread

mostly aout medicine in Slow Ideas. It is a wonderful article but along the way, there is this discocering piece "Every change requires effort, and the decision to make that effort is a social process.
This is something that salespeople understand well. I once asked a pharmaceutical rep how he persuaded doctors—who are notoriously stubborn—to adopt a new medicine. Evidence is not remotely enough, he said, however strong a case you may have. You must also apply “the rule of seven touches.” Personally “touch” the doctors seven times, and they will come to know you; if they know you, they might trust you; and, if they trust you, they will change. That’s why he stocked doctors’ closets with free drug samples in person. Then he could poke his head around the corner and ask, “So how did your daughter Debbie’s soccer game go?” Eventually, this can become “Have you seen this study on our new drug? How about giving it a try?” As the rep had recognized, human interaction is the key force in overcoming resistance and speeding change."
This is perhaps due to the complexity and pace of modern medicine. For places with resources, Atul Gawande has suggestions in this address Cowboys and Pit Crews.

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