Philosophy Strategy

Mermaids and Medical Groups


On a January day in 1493 off the coast of the island of Dominica, Christopher Columbus reported seeing three “mermaids” — in reality manatees. Columbus commented that in real life, mermaids were “not half as beautiful as they are painted.”

Just as Columbus was blinded by his expectations, many medical group leaders see things not as they are, but as they expect or even wish them to be.

Columbus wasn’t “lying” to his audience in posterity, he was simply reporting things through the filter in his mind. At least he didn’t follow the mermaids to their mermaid kingdom or stake his career on their existence.

Unfortunately, the outcome is more serious when actual business decisions are based on the world as we believe it to exist as opposed to how it really is.

Are your mermaids really manatees?

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