In a recent post titled Entropy, Bureaucracy, and the fight for great, Seth Godin points out that the larger an organization becomes the greater the pressure to move towards the average "which is another word for mediocre." I think we see the process happening in two major areas of life where bureaucracy continues to increase: health care and education. I think, and hope, that this renders them vulnerable to disruption.
Try this. Go to your doctor's office or hospital. If you're a student go to your college. Now, ask this question: Are the people in this place actively working to make my experience "remarkable?" If your answer is yes you are pretty lucky. I don;t have to tell you to stick with them!
But, increasingly I think more and more people are answering this question with a resounding no. Doctors are increasingly becoming employees in large health care organizations. Educators have been employees for a long time. But, there are limits to this arrangement and in a world where, as Godin says, "very good is bad" and "safe is risky" the opportunities for individuals to provide remarkable services to other individuals has never been greater. To use another Seth Godin image, it's time for some purple cows in health care and education. The opportunities for those who are willing to provide remarkable service in these areas are wide open.
For the most part, doctors and educators have not yet embraced this freelance mentality but I think the time for doing so is quickly coming. The growth in health care and educational bureaucracies will continue to frustrate both employees of these organizations and their customers. How long will it be before both realize they could break free and do things differently? Be on the lookout for a few early adopters of freelance health care and freelance education. Watch what happens. It could be interesting!