Here Be Dragons

A tiny, copper globe in the bowels of the New York Public Library holds one of the world’s most famous warnings: “HC SVNT DRACONES.”

For centuries it served as a cartographical cautionary idiom for the explorers pushing the boundaries of the known world. It meant, in effect, that just around the corner could be disaster.

A dragon! Surprise!

It sounds a little like what the map of a healthcare administration career might look like today. Get to the edges of change and watch out: there could be dragons.

Figuratively that is. Because in reality dragons are a myth and so is the fabled “Here Be Dragons” sentiment built by centuries of imaginations and the very real sea creature drawings of medieval mapmakers. 

But I love the analogy. 

Work is filled with surprise as a result of complexity. 

Surprise, however, is not our problem. We know it’s coming. The trouble, in my estimation, is our our inability to respond to it. We’re relying on a (hypothetical) map full of (proverbial) unexplored territory with no cautionary cartographical warnings of (metaphorical) dragons.

I believe to be successful as an administrator and to contribute to the success of an organization we need to be ready for the dragons.

So here it is: Here Be Dragons.