Britain's envy of the world.
A government ran health service so good that you are more likely to die of practically any ailment if forced to rely on it rather than using healthcare in any other comparable nation.
You don't need to spend much time working with people in other countries to be struck by the disdain with which this National Health Service is held around the world.
Reasons are tragically manifold. Yet strangely, levels of funding are not one of them. As the UK spends pretty much similar amounts on the sector as elsewhere.
So we're left with the human. The culture, the entitlement, the activist capture. Prioritisations, how money is spent and the systems put in place. Arh, systems. Where the human becomes machine. Resultant evolved procedures, bureaucracies, regimes, which all too often place the patient at the bottom of the pile.
Which also has dire effects on those working within it who really do wish to make things better, yet are constantly hamstrung.
So it is I learnt with much enthusiasm about "The missing piece in the NHS puzzle (that was meant to be there from the start)".
Can it be that as the institution itself turns 75 years old, it might enjoy successful 'treatment'?
This missing piece? Prevention.
Would you believe it, the remedy may lie in turning around that great misnomer of our species. And finally appreciating the critical ranking of process over goals.
Here's an example [via London broadsheet The Telegraph paywall] of the thinking yet to be accepted;
"One hugely significant moment in the preventive agenda came in 2008 when Ara Darzi, a pioneering colorectal surgeon, published a review for Gordon Brown’s government entitled High Quality Care for All that tried to move the NHS away from merely aiming to meet targets fast and towards a focus on improving care and outcomes."
If this failing mega-operation - perhaps even the world's largest employer, apart from the Chinese Red Army, no less - can embrace this switch, then surely we sellers can?
The point is clear. Setting targets as the be all and end all does not produce sustainable, high-level, results.
Focusing on outcomes is not the same thing as following targets.
In the medical field, a patient outcome can be where a malady is fixed. Then duly staying so for a duration longer than could be otherwise expected.
In selling, a sales outcome is where we have a buyer, of a certain type, that not only buys, but does so at a certain rate, and continues to both enjoy our benefits as well as reward us for doing so.
Working out how you get to this exulted state, in numbers that improve over time, can be the missing piece of your sales puzzle.