As healthcare professionals, we are aware and trained in A,D, T, O principles and it is a process we apply daily with our clients.

A-D-T-O stands for Assessment – Diagnosis – Treatment – Outcome.

It represents the conventional order of clinical care of individual patients.  We recognise that the four A-D-T-O pillars are connected by links and we know the single most important thing establishing the validity of any one link requires that all previous links have been established (Professor Kevin Spratt).

The ADTO Model

A-D-T-O is the order we use for investigating and identifying the best treatments.  Yet I would like to question if we apply these same principles and scientific methods to both ourselves and our businesses.

Just as with back pain so many business gurus propose a completely non-specific, one-size-fits-all, solution to small business owners which is usually based on their professional background and often specifically encourage everyone to focus on either marketing or financials ASAP, reassuring that this self-care strategy is likely to result in recovery from near failure at some point?

We know small businesses owners, are self-employed, innovate and take risks. They work tirelessly to succeed, often with little or no recognition for the positive impact they may have on their community or local economy.  It is their idea’s and contribution to society which so often drive them.  And if whole-brain thinking is not applied to the business and all aspects are not paid attention to in equal measure rather than making some diagnostic progress, we will learn nothing new.  We will spend another 25 years learning how to best “treat” the average SME with the non-specific symptom of “struggle”.

I, therefore, propose that if we see both ourselves and our businesses like nature, as a living organism with form and function, with anatomy and physiology.   We have the opportunity to run them with the elegance that plants, animals, humans and microbes have found work.

And if we overlay A-D-T-O principles we can identify the “organ” or structure in our business which needs attention and quite precisely know what that could and should be. Enabling the changes we implement to be far more effective efficient for us our teams and clients all to enjoy.

Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

It’s time for a change, for us to see the biology of business….

References: Use of the Assessment–Diagnosis–Treatment–Outcomes Model to Improve Patient Care Kevin F. Spratt, PhD MILITARY MEDICINE, 178, 10:121, 2013