Merge's Blog

Tag Archives: resource shortages

Are limited resources really a problem? Or an opportunity?

Limited resources – people, money, equipment, and time – seem to be a reality in today’s workplaces.  This is usually perceived as a bad situation with negative outcomes.  We have come to expect that limited resources will be accompanied by poor service, fewer options, and lesser quality.  But what if limited resources were actually an opportunity in disguise?

limited resources

There have been higher-than-normal temperatures in Western Canada over the last few weeks and a result, the water levels are falling in some of the ponds and smaller lakes in our part of the world.  I got a first-hand look when I went on a day-hike this past weekend.  I was at this same pond at this time last fall, and the water levels a year ago were significantly higher than they were last weekend.  So much so that, what struck me immediately was the contrast between then and now.

The surface of this one specific pool when I was there last September was smooth like glass.  This time though, the water had dropped to a level where I could now see the garbage, trash and other debris at the bottom of the pond.  Continue reading

Empower your front-line employees to take action

So if you’ve been following my blog posts over the last couple of weeks, you know that my fractured foot has traveled the world!  The accident occurred in Canada, the foot was cast in India and I spent a couple of weeks traveling there; then I visited the United States and finally came back to Canada.  By then, it had been almost three weeks since the cast had first been put on, and I figured it was time to make arrangements to have it removed.

First call was to my regular doctor in Calgary.  “Sorry, we don’t have a cast saw,” came the response.  “You’ll have to call the cast clinic at a hospital.”

Second call was to a nearby hospital’s cast clinic:

“I’d like to make an appointment to have my cast removed.”

“Which doctor?”

“It doesn’t matter.  The cast was put on while I was on a trip in India, it just needs to be removed and probably x-rayed once again.”

“Sorry, if you didn’t have the cast put on by one of our doctors, then we can’t give you an appointment.” Continue reading

How to lower productivity and de-motivate your workforce

Last Monday was not a good day!  My 77-year old mother had a nasty fall in her home, and as a result, was rushed by ambulance to the emergency ward of the nearest hospital.  When I arrived at the hospital, she was on a stretcher waiting in a line of stretchers in a long hallway, her neck in a brace and her small frame tightly strapped to a body board.  The two paramedics accompanying her explained that because she might have a spinal injury, they had braced her back and neck.  They were now waiting for her turn to get a CAT scan, x-rays, and a bed in the emergency room.  For the next five hours, the four of us – the two paramedics, my father, and I – waited in the hallway, leaning up against the wall, while the wheels of the healthcare system turned slowly.  Eventually she got her CAT scan, then we waited some more.  Finally, she went in for x-rays, then we waited again.  It was impossible to move her off the stretcher until the results of the CAT scan and x-rays came in; besides there were still no open beds in the emergency ward, so where could they have moved her to?  Eventually, almost five hours later, a bed opened up and they moved her, neck brace, body board and all, into the emergency ward.  At last, the paramedics were able to complete the transfer of custody and leave the hospital. Continue reading