“An idea that can change the course of the company can come from anywhere.”
This is the advice @Jack Dorsey, one of the founders of Twitter, gave at TechCrunch Disrupt. I encourage you to watch the 12-minute keynote that puts a twist on the notion of a “founder” and a pivotal idea. He says that the key to innovation is to be open to new ideas no matter where they come from.
Medical leaders in an Idea Economy
Some of the biggest barriers in health innovation are hierarchical mindsets. In an idea economy, medical leaders cannot be arrogant. The social networked world has given the individual an unprecedented ability to collaborate on ideas with people all over the world as I describe in my own keynote on innovation, ‘Innovators are learners, not experts’. According to Walter Isaacson, “Success no longer comes from possessing knowledge; instead, you have to participate in creating a flow of knowledge.”
Dr. Ronan Kavanagh says:
“Engaging in health-related activities on social media channels is the most important thing I have done for my medical life since completing my specialist training. It has renewed my fascination for healthcare in a way I haven’t felt since I was a medical student and doing so, has undoubtedly quelled a mid-life ennui with my career. It has transformed the way I learn (where I had all but stopped learning) and introduced me to new and interesting friends.”
Some doctors only engage with other doctors. I was pleasantly surprised when I came across this tweet from Danielle Jones:
Jones explains, “I follow patients on Twitter. Not my patients, but patients who share their stories. I follow patients who explain how their doctors have affected their mental and physical health – how their physicians have failed them or fought for them and how it made them feel.”
Connecting patients online
Colleen Young, the founder of #hcsmca and Community Manager for Virtual Hospice, just won the JMIR (Journal of Medical Internet Research) award at the Medicine 2.0 Conference at Harvard for her presentation on building online health communities. She describes being a “conduit through which ideas flow.”
Weak ties lead to serendipity and new ideas
You need diversity for serendipity. Serendipity leads to new ideas and is shaped through ‘weak ties.’ Weak ties are the relationships you have with people that bridge different groups outside your domain expertise. Weak ties provide the bridges for innovation. – Angela Dunn
June Holley has written a handbook explaining how to weave a network. To get started, she says you need to:
- Put your ego in check,
- Be a learner, not an expert,
- Be willing to engage over ideas, and
- Connect people.
How will you start crossing the bridges that will open the doors for innovation?
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