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Learn Lessons about How to Grow Profits from How Disease Has Spread

Jan 29, 2008
One of the great tragedies of our time is the scourge of AIDS. In some places, most of the parents have died, leaving legions of orphans with few to care for them.

Because the disease is often undetected until the later stages, many infected people unwittingly infect others. In too many countries, the cost of medicine to delay or treat symptoms is beyond what most people can afford. People die in many cases wondering why their fellow humans place so little value on their lives and contributions. Those who don't contract the disease feel overwhelmed by the enormous social costs that the survivors are bearing.

Yet the disease is relatively easy to prevent if you are well informed and committed to remaining uninfected: Avoid intravenous needles that have already been used by others. Either be sexually chaste or have sexual contacts only with people who have been repeatedly shown not to have the infection. If in doubt about a sexual partner, abstain or use condoms.

Despite the relative ease of taking such precautions, the disease continues to infect millions more. What's the barrier? In most cases, it's primarily ignorance.

Here are some of the forms of ignorance that help spread this epidemic:

-Not knowing how the infection is transmitted from one person to another

-Believing that you can always tell an infected person by looking at him or her

-Not knowing about dangerous practices followed by your sex partner

-Acting on false beliefs about what causes AIDS

Avoiding the removal of ignorance as an obstacle doesn't make sense. If you let ignorance continue, many more people will be infected, suffer, and die. If that occurs, you also somewhat increase the risk for those who are not ignorant because the knowledgeable will come into more frequent contact with infected people.

But knowing that you should obliterate an obstacle doesn't mean that you have the awareness of how to do so using the available resources. Here is where creating a breakthrough solution can help.

One of my students in a poor country considered in some detail how to overcome ignorance about AIDS. He determined that the obstacle could best be removed by overcoming the communications stall. Millions are knowledgeable about the causes of AIDS. If those in the know simply shared that information with a few people every month, it would not take long before everyone would have the information. Problems, however, remain.

For some of the ignorant, the news would not be credible. Some people in this country believe that AIDS is the result of a witch's incantations. Perhaps the people who believe that would be convinced if the witches they feared the most shared the correct information with them, and the witches promised not to inflict AIDS on the people if they followed the appropriate precautions.

For others, part of the precaution message is a conflict with their religious beliefs. For some religious people, condoms are an abomination and their use encourages people to sin in a variety of ways.

But religious people would usually be glad to speak openly about the benefits of chastity, fidelity, and care with intravenous needles in preventing AIDS. Since those choices are all effective preventions, that message should be encouraged.

For the young, some don't have the knowledge about biology to understand a medical explanation. Like the person who wants to use electricity, but doesn't understand what electricity is, these people need to simply have faith that taking the right actions will generate the results they want. For such young people, role models among sports stars, celebrities, and moral leaders can credibly share the prevention message by drawing on the trust the young people have in their heroes and heroines.

While this example may seem far from the business interests of many readers, the lesson is profound. Even when life itself is at stake for our families and loved ones, people can be poor communicators and live not so happily in ignorance. Imagine how much more so the communications stall blocks progress in commercial enterprises where so much less is personally at stake.

Make it your top priority to find out where you are ignorant about the obstacles that can be removed that prevent your organization's rapid profit growth. Millions of people know what you don't know so start asking . . . and pay attention!
About the Author
Donald Mitchell is an author of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. Read about creating breakthroughs through 2,000 percent solutions and receive tips by e-mail by registering for free at

http://www.2000percentsolution.com .
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