How to profitably influence your firm – lessons learned from guinea worm disease…
Your accountancy firm must respond to changing markets, technical advances and customer demands if it is to survive…
But sometimes it is difficult to get some of your team to respond in the way that you want.
Most people have a familiar way of working, a routine, an entrenched behaviour “that’s the way we’ve always done it”.
Your job as a partner or manager is to influence the change in this behaviour to allow your firm to grow its profits.
The story of the success of The Carter Centre in eradicating the Guinea worm disease proves that even deeply embedded behaviour can be changed – provided there is the right motivation and the ability to do something about it.
Guinea worm disease is a parasitic infection caused when people consume water from stagnant sources contaminated with worm larvae. Inside the human body the worms mature and grow. After about a year the worm, sometimes 1 metre long, creates a painful blister on the skin and slowly emerges from the body. Guinea worm sufferers seek relief from the agony of the blister by bathing in water sources, but this contact with water stimulates the worm to release its larvae into the water and begin the cycle of infection all over again.
In 1986 3.5 million people in 21 countries suffered from Guinea worm. Dr Donald R Hopkins working for the Carter Centre, changed the behaviour of millions of people to eradicate this disease.