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I ended last year’s ILN director’s message with “The year ahead of us promises to be exciting and turbulent. If ever there was a time that innovation and design are needed, it’s now.” Little did we know how exciting and how turbulent, nor how much innovation and design are still needed. We spent most of the year with an anxious anticipation for the ACA Exchanges. And their launch was messy to say the least. Big change and big innovation are messy, but this also points to the lesson we all know well: fail early to succeed sooner.
So 2013 for the ILN was a year of experimentation, with little failures guiding us to bigger success. The Spring InPerson hosted by Boston University and the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT) is a great example. We learned from past meetings that the basic Open Space format is great, but there was something missing to jolt the work to the next level. And so, we added seed funding distributed by crowdsourcing. The jolt was felt. Via experimentation the theme of (R)evolution inspired three projects to move forward. You can explore one of these (r)evolutionary projects on page 80.
The experimentation continued with the Autumn InPerson co-hosted by the UCLA Institute for Innovation in Health and the Center for Care Innovations. This meeting’s experiment was size. Just how big can an ILN InPerson get and still be meaningful? Over 160 attendees proved that bigger is sometimes better. It also was fitting that our theme was Blur. Although it was intended to suggest the disappearing line between care and life (and wow, were there some cool ideas!), it also doubled as an inflection point for ILN InPerson Meetings. The ILN meetings are getting big. Do we constrain them or open them up? It’s blurry. There are no right answers. But we have some surprises in store for 2014 and 2015. Stay tuned.
And so here is to celebrating the blurry, the unknown, and the experiments; it’s where great things live.
Yours in innovation,
No reason, no trigger, no event on January 1 I decided to take a digital retreat for one month. And save two pop-ins on Facebook to update a kitchen remodel (I know, i know… purist already believe the retreat ruined), I gave up Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and Instagram. The first few days were strange. I’d grab my phone, and just about to push the big fat white F, I’d instead hover over to NYT. And begin reading the news – real news written by really good journalists.
A few more days, and I still had the itch for doing “something’ on the smartphone. And so, my reading the news deepened. In the past I’d read the headline and first paragraph, but now I was reading whole articles. A few more days, and I found myself in better conversations with friends and colleagues at work, on hikes, in cafes. And a few more days, I did the unthinkable, I left my phone home while meeting friends for dinner. And THAT became the conversation.
“You left your phone at home?!”
“Ummm, yes I did.”
“What if something happens?”
“Im here with you. You’ll help me. I am sure of this.”
There are three takeaways from my retreat (which ends today):
For all three the main theme was focus – increased focus on the written material, increased focus on being in the present, and increased focus on all that is happening in someone’s life. And so, I am ready to dive back into my digital world, but with new focus and awareness of what is around me – real life with real people.