Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Insight and Imagination

Guest Blogger: Patricia Evans, Senior Financial Analyst, Office of Financial Management, MHRI

Yesterday was a special reminder of all the fun and exciting things going on at Medstar.  I had the honor of attending the 6th annual MI2 (MedStar Institute for Innovation) Innovations in …Thinking Differently Forum.  It was an opportunity to reconnect as well as meet a diverse group of people across the system.  

This year’s theme was Insight and Imagination.  Although prevalent to us all, insight is something we generally do not pay attention to or give a high priority in our daily lives.  There were a number of talented speakers and Dr. Gary Klein gave us a very thought provoking equation.

Traditionally, the focus of organizations has been reducing errors.  And though important, is not the only method that should be implemented.  Because measuring insight is more difficult organizations have been more hesitant to pursue that strategy.  That hesitation could impair the organization’s ability to discover their untapped potential.  How do we develop this insight?  Klein suggested making it a habit or an active curious state of mind.  His suggestions included:  keeping a journal, using curiosity, encouraging others and lastly, create opportunities from areas of conflict or confusion.

Another speaker Donna Harris, Co-CEO of 1776 reminded us that inspiration is not just out there in new entrepreneurs but in each of us also.  She talked about the new era of public benefit corporations leading the way for making change.  Artist Chris Ayers inspired us with his personal story about beating cancer and how his use of drawing a different animal each day helped him through his first year of treatment.  The outcome was a beautiful book of drawings that can now inspire others.  His passion was evident and it was hard to tell where work began and the fun ended.  He offered valuable suggestions of things to do when we find ourselves in a rut or experiencing writer’s block.  His message was simple: start with a squiggle and no one knows where it will end. 

Read his amazing story Daily Zoo.

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