Friday, January 09, 2015

Reflections on inclusiveness for those who would be leaders

I was interested to read Dr. Braveman's blog post yesterday on Triple Aim.  In that post he stated "What did surprise me was the call for volunteer leaders to stop sharing their opinions and perspectives on such issues with the rationale that the issues can be interpreted by some as political and partisan."  You can read the whole post at http://otconnections.aota.org/community_blogs/b/brentbraveman/archive/2015/01/08/why-we-should-hear-more-about-health-policy-issues-such-as-the-triple-aim-of-healthcare.aspx

He doesn't reference what 'call' he was referring to, but I would like respond to that statement because of the statements I have made on that topic.  I am not aware of any other statements on this topic, but if there was some other 'call' I would like to read it.

In any event, related to my postings, I am not aware of any statements I made that could be reasonably interpreted as a call to stop sharing perspectives on issues - what I have 'called' for is respect for political diversity and a decrease to the politicization of the profession.  When AOTA leaders repeatedly promote extreme liberal ideology related to health care reform it can have a chilling impact on the participation of members who do not ascribe to those political methods.

This becomes an important issue because if a professional association with a presumably diverse membership begins being driven into a single ideological direction then that is not healthy for the notion of diversity and inclusiveness for the membership.

One can't 'turn off' their political inclinations, and certainly one can't cleanly separate health care policy from those inclinations, particularly in context of the ACA which represents increased governmental regulation of the health care system.  However, responsible leaders will understand that holding the reigns of such leadership should not be carte blanche approval to run roughshod over an entire membership by promoting a partisan policy approach.

Here is a specific example: Please consider the impact of elevating and promoting a 'Triple Aim' methodology for structural health care reform in context of the architect of that method lauding the British National Health Service for not letting their health care system “play out in the darkness of private enterprise.”  For those members who are interested in entrepreneurship and private practice, do you think this would make them feel confident that the membership association is supportive of their efforts?

Furthermore, responsible leaders will not engage in preemptive false accusations like stating that there has been a call to stifle conversation.  The reason why I label this as a preemptive false accusation is  because it is the setup to the logical fallacy known as the "Tu Quoque."  In simple terms, when preceded by the preemptive false accusation, this is accusing your debate opponent of doing precisely what you are doing yourself.  It is distraction.  It is equivocation.  It does not serve us well.

I am not aware of any other person who makes more calls for inclusive conversation on social media than I do.  Within the last month I attempted to generate conversation about habilitation definitions, about the Triple Aim, and about inclusiveness and nondiscrimination within the profession.  That is just on the OT Connections forums alone in the LAST month. 

Reasonable people are able to determine who is responsible for stifling or limiting conversation.  It is stifling conversation to make preemptive false accusations.  It is stifling conversation when leaders fail to respond to  calls for debate on important policy topics.  It is stifling conversation when there is deletion of message threads that are uncomfortable.  It is stifling conversation when there is deletion of Tweets that are challenged.  It is stifling of conversation when there is a blocking of your debate opponent from your Twitter account.

I am not suggesting that all of these actions were taken by Dr. Braveman, because they were not - they are a collection of actions of several people, specifically including other BoD members.  It reflects poorly on our intellectual culture.

What I would like our leadership to consider is that these types of actions are chilling to many people.  We have precious little participation from our membership related to these important health care and policy debates.  I am an unabashed conversationalist, but that is not what I believe the norm to be in our membership.

I am not aware of any call to stifle conversation.  In fact, what we need is an end to equivocation and we need even more conversation.  Only with more conversation can there be some chance that leaders will get a message that the membership organization is not a place for partisan ideologies.

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