Troublemaker vs. Rebel

List of attributes: troublemaker vs rebel by Lois KellyI adore this slide that Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, captured during a presentation by Helen Bevan. The list was formulated by Lois Kelly and I highly recommend exploring her site:

The word pair that resonates most with me is “alienate vs. attract,” possibly because it reminds me of my grandmother‘s advice: You catch more bees with honey than with vinegar. How about you? What resonates?

8 thoughts on “Troublemaker vs. Rebel

  1. Ha ha ha ha, oh, this is going to be fun. ๐Ÿ™‚ Have I not raved to you about Helen?? Her work and training for “organizational radicals” is rich and deep. (Lois’s Foghound is a great part of it.)

    I met Helen unexpectedly at the Saskatchewan quality summit in April 2013, along with a big crew of other remarkables there. (This was the first event I ever attended where a health community purposely had 10% of the audience as patients.)

    I’d never heard of her, but someone (probably @DrSusanShaw) told me to get into her pre-conference session. My first tweet:
    10 Apr 2013
    100+ breakout room! RT @Pina44: #qs13 standing room only for @helenbevan “How to change when the ppl around you don’t want to change”

    Next tweet:
    Okay, FIVE MINUTES into @HelenBevan talk, I already see EVERY change agent needs to get her training. No exaggeration. #qs13

    11 minutes later:
    (I don’t wanna seem weird, but I’ve never wanted to HUG a conference presenter, but @HelenBevan’s doin’ it. BRILLIANT & effective) #qs13

    [Amusingly, at the break I approached her and SHE hugged ME. :-)]

    Soon we were onto Peter Fuda’s great 3.5 minute change agent video From ‘Burning Platform’ to ‘Burning Ambition’.

    This @helenbevan ‘compliance’ slide‘s as true for doc-pt as for organizational change mandates

    The session was a dry run for her three hour workshop a week later at the BMJ / IHI Forum in London. It was a packed room of 200 and got a standing ovation! (photo) Have you ever seen anyone get a standing ovation after a 3 hour workshop?)

    A few days later on Forbes I blogged The “Organizational Radical” Movement Comes To Medicine, including Kate Woolley’s Storify of the workshop, which was titled “Rocking the boat without falling out.”

    The final slide was a little poem, “Outwitted,” by Edward Markham:

    “He drew a circle to shut me out –
    heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
    But Love and I had the wit to win:
    We drew a circle that took him in.”

    … which was followed by this perfect final tweet from Dr @DJNicholl:
    “A poem for organisational radicals 2 engage others #quality5 May I add a truly brilliant & therapeutic afternoon”

    Do you think your grandmother would approve?


    Not that you have nothing better to do with your time but you can scroll back to those earliest days (April 2013) in the Dave/Helen tweetfeed for a few more tweets.

  2. You and Dave have given me some great reading. While it’s common sense, the least common thing is common sense in too many cases. My pinned tweet in my profile has a corollary “VC: I like to invest in startups that want to disrupt their industry from place of love, not contempt.”

    It’s tiresome to hear people talk about how “broken” healthcare is when they don’t recognize that the vast, vast majority of people across all sectors of healthcare have the best of intentions. Unfortunately, the design of the system often is at odds with great intentions. The way I look at it is that it’s hard to imagine anywhere else where there are more smarts, passion and hard work yet dramatically underperforms against the potential. If we can harness the smarts, passion and hard work towards a re-aligned system, it will be breathtaking.

  3. What’s heartening to me is seeing more and more communities of patients, providers, and other collaborators in which NOT diving in and trusting and improving together is now the more rebellious path. So even though I work in a pretty innovative system, I don’t feel like a rebel and I sometimes worry whether that language creates rifts (though I so, so, so admire those who you mention above!!!) I would love to hear your anthropologist’s take on this!

    • Thanks, Sarah, it is a good sign when collaborative work is the norm. If you get a chance to watch Peter Fuda’s video (linked in E-patient Dave’s comment above) I wonder if it would resonate with you. The change I’d love to see is that ALL of us feel the fire within that he depicts in CEOs. We all need to lead, we all need to incorporate the lessons of moving from a burning platform to an inner ambition.

      Also, I was just talking with a friend about how he likes the word pairs but likes BOTH “troublemaker” and “rebel.” Is there another word we can use besides troublemaker?

  4. When discussing deviancy and power in a college sociology course, my professor said, “The rebel says fuck you to society.”

    That quote stuck with me over the years. One, because it marked a turning point in the class when we realized if he can swear then we can too. Moreover, because it’s true. The rebel is not a bad person, he said. The rebel merely looks at the world through a different lens and one which the rebel believes is better.

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