Vineet Nayar's thoughts on Davos make good sense for health care too

It used to be "hard power" applied from the top that got things done. In turn, it became "soft power" -- the achievement of change by persuasion. And today? [World Economic Forum founder and executive chairman Klaus] Schwab believes our future rests on "collaborative power" -- that is, "the integration of empowered newcomers" into the decision-making process.   Read the post from Vineet Nayar, CNN Money

When it comes to changing the culture of health, many will outwardly embrace the "empowered newcomer" while continuing business as usual.  All of us have wrestled with this dynamic and I propose that the wrestling is about keeping the discomfort of "not knowing" what the newcomer wants at bay.  Here's how it works:

Co-mingling empowered newcomers into mature business processes makes us anxious and awkward, some of us just a little, others a lot.

There is rarely adequate time to move through the awkward feelings meeting a newcomer brings up in time to establish a rapport a professional context.  This can take years because we approach the situation with blind spots.

One blind spot or preconceived limit is that there simply is not room for a newcomer's perspective. Why? Because some feel that newbies don't "get it", cannot "articulate it" or simply slow things down to such a point that empowered stakeholders are impatient to return to business as usual.

Squirm as we may, until chaired leaders become skilled at tolerating the anxiety and uncertainty of newcomer encounters, the conversation about innovation will leave a tremendous raw energy source untapped.  ...

It's an irrational season in American health care.  This season of seduction keeps calling us to envision care in new ways.

We hear the siren song of apps, big data, information, tools, treatments and processes promising to take us closer to healing, to loving, and to the care we received from our mothers and fathers (or did not receive).

The promises of the future are intoxicating, the needs are overwhelming, the technology nothing but mind-blowing. And yet, will we come close to realizing the potential this moment offers? ... I ask myself: 
  • How might we unleash and package the power of the individual? 
  • How might we establish trust as a product platform?  
  • How might we foster and ignite humility within the re-imagining of health and wellness?
  • How might we learn to perceive the individual's ability to "not know" as a sign of advanced thinking?
  • How might we germinate these ideas within?
  • How might we apply these ideas to a single relationship?
  • How might  we grow these ideas into a fluid layer of dialog globally?
It is the individual that powers the network and it is the individual who seeds our increasingly global, fluid kinship system.

As Vineet Mayar suggests, it's a ready acceptance of what is new or feared that may ultimately extend an individual's or group's vitality and relevance.

Reflecting on my own style in these contexts, I view my readiness to seek out the newcomer's P.O.V. to the health of my growth mindset.  When looked at this way, I see the whole exchange one of co-empowerment.

Rather than welcoming someone into the elite, we give away the idea of elite in exchange for something raw and less abstract.

By re-framing the exchange between newcomer and stakeholders as one of co-empowerment, we create a supply of related but distinct exponential thinkers over time. It's a way to accelerate the positive impact we can make on the world together.

Re-written 2/9 after conversations with Alex Jadad, MD, PhD 2/6-9, 2012, #Future Med

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