Prevention is the Wrong Goal

by | Dec 18, 2018 | Change, Ideas, Learning

This comment blindsided me as I wondered how prevention could be the wrong goal.  I knew the stats about $1 of prevention is worth $7-10 of cure or response, so why was prevention the wrong goal? 

Turns out that perhaps a better goal is having a goal when the disease is eradicated – think smallpox or polio (almost).  We no longer need to prevent it as it no longer exists.  So if that is our goal, how do we work backwards from there figuring out the steps we need to take to make it a reality.  

In many ways, this takes a difficult problem and makes it a complex, wicked or gnarly problem, but eradication is often the desired goal of those of us working in ‘prevention’; we’re probably too scared to articulate it as it feels too big, too unrealistic. 

How would your approach change if you switched from thinking about cure or prevention to eradication or to no longer being needed?  No matter what problem/challenge you are working on.


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