Henk Smid: on a sofa

Henk Smid webTEDxNijmegen also had a real therapeutical session, with a psychiatrist and on his sofa Henk Smid, director of ZonMw, the Dutch Organization for Health Research and Development. ZonMw funds health research and stimulates use of the knowledge developed to help improve health and healthcare.

Smid was stressed and suffered from sleeplessness. The cause was that he found it very difficult to talk about failures his organization discovered.

The psychiatrist did not understand the problem. “Do you know what the word ‘failure’ means?” he asked his patient. ‘First attempt, to learn’. Because learning is good, failures are good!”

“Of course!,” his patient enthusiastically replied, “we need an award for people and organizations that are open and transparent about their failures. They have no reason to be ashamed. They are successful, because they help us to learn! And magazine should be eager to publish about failures!”

Henk Smid was happy again. And the psychiatrist was happy: “The first time I cured a patient in one session!”

A live blog by Frank Geene