Two weeks ago I had one thousand rounds of small caliber ammunition delivered to my house. It was the most ammo I had ever purchased at one time. Now, some of you might be asking why I would need or desire 1,000 bullets delivered conveniently to my front door. I could tell you that blogging is a wild and dangerous business – at least the way I do it, or that the employee's annual performance reviews didn't go very well this year, but that would not be the truth. The simple matter is that my wife and I recently purchased two new handguns which should each be fired 200 times before they are considered “broken in”.

Locally, 50 rounds costs about $18 per box (I am not identifying the caliber or brand of these items, as security professionals will tell you that specific info about weapons and security practices should never be publicly disclosed). This means that we would have had to purchase 8 boxes at a total cost of $144 to simply break in these new weapons. Thanks to the efficiency of the internet, I was able to locate and purchase the 1,000 round case for just over $10 per box, meaning that for around $60 more, we could have an additional 600 rounds to enjoy at the shooting range.

Or to have on hand the next time I write a snarky blog, publish private documents exposing a conspiracy somewhere, piss off the pro-marijuana crowd, offend an injured worker or call some angry mans idea a “non-starter”. Whichever. 

Practice makes perfect, after all.

The point is, you need to be prepared to break in new items to make sure that they are working properly, and are able to accomplish the task for which they were designed. It really is not that different from deploying new ideas in workers' compensation. 

And new ideas are on the horizon.

There is a trend forming in the nation surrounding a national discussion regarding workers' comp. The first two discussions, scheduled with the idea of discussing the strengths, weaknesses and areas of potential improvement in the industry, are scheduled to occur in the next few weeks. The IAIABC has scheduled a 3 hour session at their upcoming Spring Forum for a ”National Discussion”, and there is a two day national Summit for 40 industry leaders and innovative thinkers scheduled in early May. I am proud to say I have had a bit of involvement in this effort. This is all coming about after an article I published called “Who Will Lead the National Conversation on Workers' Comp?”, and I am intimately involved with the May Summit. We expect these meetings to be the beginning of a year long dialogue towards finding and fixing the flaws in our system.

So, what if we are successful? What if we develop and successfully advocate new ideas that can be deployed to better serve injured workers' and their employers? The challenge of trying something new is that it may not always work as intended straight out of the gate. It may need to be tweaked, adjusted, or fixed with a rubber mallet. We just will not know until we try.

New things rarely work exactly as hoped when given their first litmus test. We need to be prepared to modify, adjust and fine tune ideas to give them a chance for success. They must first be tested. We have to give these ideas ample “time on the range” to make sure we have It right.

All too often new ideas are scrapped or discontinued before they have had adequate time to evolve and function as intended. We should be prepared so this does not happen with concepts that these upcoming discussions may eventually help germinate. We will need to work with the ideas, mold them and make sure they address the targeted needs.

We will need to break them in, and we best have adequate ammo to conduct that task properly.

The conversation is on. The ideas will be coming. Do we have enough ammunition stockpiled to see them through to fruition? We don't know, but the interest and desire from many sectors is there. We know we have to do this. The industry and the people it serves are depending on us.

It is certainly worth taking a shot. Or one thousand if necessary.

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