Michael and I slept in a little bit on Saturday morning which was a welcome respite from the highly scheduled visit. We grabbed breakfast at 8:30am and were met outside by Peter Howard at 9:30. Though the weather was supposed to be nice in the morning, and turn to rain in the afternoon it looked cloudy. Peter decided to drive us around Derby to a lovely walking area called Dove Dale.

Dove Dale is a walk along the Dove River through some foothills (similar to the glacial drumlins we have in the Kettle Moraine area of Wisconsin). Here we walked the famous Dove Dale stepping-stones and chatted about the formation of the British National Joint Registry (among other things).

It was on this walk that Peter talked about people’s reaction to NJR and specifically used concepts from a lecture he had heard about the “Journey to Jiseki.”

“Jiseki,” he explained, is a Japanese concept that roughly translates to “acceptance of burden.” When people are faced with data about their performance they go through four distinct stages:

  1. “The data are wrong.” – This is akin to denial and is often the first stage on the journey to “jiseki.”
  2. “The data are right, but it’s not a problem.” – The idea behind this is that the data is accepted, but excuses are provided to resolve or minimize the implications.
  3. “The data are right, it’s a problem, but it’s not MY problem.” – This is best exemplified by the Japanese word “taseki” which roughly means: “The dog ate my homework.”
  4. Finally, “The data are right, it’s a problem, and it’s my problem.” – This is “jiseki” and is characterized by someone who feels this is now their responsiblity, their burden, and accepting no excuses.

We finished our walk in a traditional English countryside rain shower, and followed Peter back to his car. From there we stopped at the John Thompson Inn in Ingleby for lunch and a pint and then headed back to Peter’s house.

Once at Peter’s house he showed us the ins and outs of the NJR, including how to interpret funnel plots, spot outliers, and use the provider data to meaningfully determine if you were doing a good job or not. Over the course of 3-4 hours we sat in his den and asked him questions that we hoped the registry would answer. It was fascinating to see the ease with which he could conjur up the answers as well as provide deep, meaningful insight into where there were hidden answers in the data. All of this was done with a hot cup of tea and a warm smile. 

Before dinner we got to tour an old water tower that Peter’s wife, Mandy, had been renovating as a residence. It was an unbelievably cool project, and both Michael and I ended up in a bidding war for the property.

For dinner, Mandy served a delightful shrimp salad, main course of beef stroganoff and rice, and a dessert of strawberry meringue. As a treat after dinner, Peter took us into his “music room” to show us his guitars, including two that his brother had made for him. I got a chance to play all of his guitars before a taxi picked us up and brought us back to the hotel.

We leave tomorrow for Glasgow, and we look forward to the rest of our journey, but our hosts in Derby have been so wonderful, so thoughtful, and so open to welcoming us that we can’t help feeling a little sad to leave. At least we have one more breakfast at the Boot Inn before we move on.