David, Goliath, and Disrupting the Legacy Organization

Story of David and Goliath

Most of us know the story of David Goliath. There was a war in the land of Israel where Saul and the Israelites faced off against the Philistines

On the battlefield, a giant Philistine named Goliath came forward and seeked a challenger. He was massive in stature, wore heavy armory and intimidated the Israelites. For forty days, he would come to the front, mock the Israelites and demand a worthy challenge.

David was the youngest of twelve sons, sent to the battlefield to deliver food to the troops and bring a progress report to his father.

When David heard Goliath mocking them and their faith, he faced Goliath’s challenge. When offered armor for the impending fight, David refused. He was not adjusted to wearing the armor and regular armaments of the day’s warriors.

David took down Goliath with one rock from his sling and beheaded Goliath with his own sword. The Philistines fled in fear and the Israelites won the battle.

Legacy Organization Disruption

Goliath was the Best Practice of the day. On a battlefield of sword and shield, he was massive with powerful armor and weapons. The Philistines were the policies and procedures that fought the same battle.

King Saul sought to disrupt the current best practice but was stuck fighting the battle THEIR way. The Israelites were change agents who believed in what they were fighting for. Again, they were fighting on a battlefield where the Philistines, represented best by Goliath, were most comfortable.

David was the catalyst. He had so much faith in the truth that he wasn’t going to back down nor fight the battle same old way. He was going to fight for truth in his way.

The armor he was offered is representative of the current standards that the status quo respects and idolized. They were the degrees and formal experience. David had truth and his unique expertise on his side. He had the sling and stone.

Once the Best Practice was taken down, the way it was always done was left scattered and disoriented. The change agents came in and finished it off, changing the future’s trajectory.

Healthcare's David, Goliath, and King Saul

Don’t underestimate the Davids in your organization. When they find truth, they will come forward with it and stand for it. Because they are about truth and the future, they will not relent.

Now, I realize that this all seems pretty abstract and abstraction makes it less impactful. So let’s get rid of some of the abstraction and look at David and Goliath when it comes to Healthcare Engagement and Processes.

King Saul, the one seeking disruption, could be an organization like the Studer Group. They are fighting for change and improvement. But they are also stuck fighting on the battlefield of bureaucratic nightmares. The spirit of their initiatives is great and can have a huge impact on the organization, but only if organizations go all-in on the spirit of their programs.

The Israelites are the leaders and departments who support initiatives from Studer Group and others. They see opportunities for improvement and are willing to invest in making it happen. I’m going to beat this point to death, but again these leaders and departments are stuck fighting on a battlefield that doesn’t share the same driving spirit.

The policies, procedures, committees, and other “filters” in modern healthcare are the Philistines. These policies and procedures are meant to help ensure that they have a strong Best Practice (Goliath). And as long as they are in familiar territory, they are very successful in accomplishing their goal.

David is represented by the individuals and consultants at the organization that break through the nonsense and call it like it is. They aren’t aggressive. Rather than disrupt through hostile means, they respond to the current systems with their own experiences and truth. He has faith in the ideas proposed by the change agents and supporting organizations but sees the need for stronger penetration.

Without a catalyst to shake things up, our legacy organizations will be slow to adapt to the market. This Catalyst could be an individual, outside groups, a consultants, or even a competitor. Change happens. Embrace it, search for it, and be proud that people care enough about your business to fight systems that hurt it.

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Jake Gambino

Jake Gambino

Jake Gambino is the President and founder of Marketing Boon LLC. After ten years of experience working in the healthcare industry and seeing the same problems appear, he decided to do something about it and started his own business to bring new solutions to old problems.

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