At the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's National Forum today, Don Berwick used the example of 2tragedy of the commons" in his Opening Plenary. His pitch was to encourage healthcare leaders to cooperate and work for the wider and more common good and to beware of continuing to work on a self-centred and healthcare industry basis.
For those interested in the concept of "tragedy of the commons" I have put some links in here where you can get more information.
The original article by Garrett Hardin in 1968 which introduced the concept can be found here.
A special issue of Science magazine provides not only all the critical papers you need to read but also links to excellent web resources. You can find this here:
Some games you can play to simulate and understand what is meant by ToC (though anyone trying to get onto the conference wifi will know just what it feels like!). You can access these here:
One of my favourite bloggers covered ToC a while back. You can read his post and associated comments here:
I've been a fan of Systems Thinking for years. There are loads of tools and techniques to understand how ToC occurs and how to work with it. I'm looking forward to healthcare improvers adding systems thinking techniques into the regular and perhaps rather technical improvement techniques. You can learn about ToC using causal loop diagrams here, and discover resources at Pegasuscom.
Any more - please add in the comments below.