Directly Speaking - What do you do when you don’t know what you don’t know?

by Scott A. Meyers, Executive Vice President
May 1, 2014

I’m sure you’ve heard people say “It’s hard when you don’t know what you don’t know.” Or maybe you’ve heard the proverb attributed to Confucius, Arabic or Persian origin that goes something like this, although depending on the purported origin it varies:
He who knows not and knows not that he knows not is a fool; shun him.
He who knows not and knows that he knows not he is a student; teach him.
He who knows and knows not that he knows is asleep; wake him.
He who knows and knows that he knows is a wise man; follow him.
If you ever think you’re in a situation where you don’t know what you don’t know, or if you don’t know but know that you don’t know, the most important thing you can do is ask! Ask whoever you think may be able to shed some light on the subject. Ask others around involved in the project to make sure everyone knows what everyone else knows. Perhaps collectively, you already know everything you need to know or know where to find the answers.

So why the little life lesson, today? Well, ICHP’s Division of Marketing Affairs is about to launch a much needed membership needs assessment. You’ll receive it via email, and while it might take a few minutes of your time, you might be the proud winner of $50 in Amazon gift cards. All this because we need to find out what we don’t know.  

We need to find out if we’re providing value for your membership dues dollars. Of course we think we are, but it’s been a long time since we’ve checked. Two years in fact, and in today’s marketplace, that’s a long time. We’re going to ask you how you like us to communicate to you and the preferred frequency of these communications. We want to know what programs and services we provide to our members free or at a reduced price are still used and appreciated and see if any need to be put out to pasture (discontinued for you city slickers). One open-ended question is going to ask you “What pharmacy-related issue keeps you up at night?” We want you to weigh in on the current website. Is it easy to use? Does it contain the right content? If you think something is missing, what is it?

We’re going to ask pharmacy technicians if they are certified. And if not, why not? The ICHP Champions program will rate  a couple of questions, and if you’re asking yourself right now, “What is the ICHP Champions Program?”, we need to know that! There are questions about ICHP’s three existing member networks and if you have considered using them. We’re even going to ask you if you are aware that ICHP offers some dues discount opportunities that can save you money and increase their value as I mentioned above!

This survey isn’t distributed every year, but we try to do it often enough so that we make sure there is little we don’t really know about the wants and needs of our members. And yes, the survey will ask you in a few places if you would like more information about an ICHP product or service or if you would like to get more involved in the Council’s activities. There’s no pressure here, and we really only want genuinely interested individuals. So don’t feel that you need to jump in if you’re not ready. ICHP wants to keep its members…not to mention, keep them happy and well-served.  
Please take the time to complete the survey, even if you’re not excited about $50 in Amazon gift cards. You can and should be as honest as possible so that the volunteers and staff can build a better ICHP. We really do need to know what we don’t know!

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