Innovation Design

Design Thinking, Healthcare, Human-Centered Design, Innovation, Patient Experience

Let The Journey Begin: Moving From Communication To Connection

The Story . . .

“It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you stop caring who gets credit for it.” This is one of many important quotes I heard from Annette Logan, CEO at the Cure 4 The Kids Foundation. Last week, some of our team had the honor of kicking-off a project with this organization. It is not often in IMG_0321one’s life when passion, purpose, and business all align, but it just happened to us.

In 2007, Cure 4 the Kids started at Annette’s kitchen table. The foundation started because she got fed up as a parent as she navigated care for her son after a significant accident. As a nurse, she knew that he was consistently getting substandard care and knew that there was a better way of doing things. When she launched the foundation, she committed to helping all kids, no matter of their socio-economic backgrounds. We were in the car with her when she blurted out one of the most profound statements I have heard in a long time: “The price of poverty shouldn’t be death for a child.”

This is exactly what I meant by the alignment of passion, purpose, and business. This organization is committed to transforming the pediatric patient experience. They’ve spent the past decade defying the odds as they’ve moved from the kitchen table into serving over 40,000 children. I will share more on Cure 4 The Kids as the journey continues. If you want to follow them on social media, here’s how to connect: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

What We Learned And What You Can Learn . . .

Out of everything we learned in our two short days with Annette and her team (which was a lot), the quote that stuck with me is Annette’s take on communication issues that typically plague companies. She surmised that when people are frustrated by communication issues, they are really frustrated by a lack of connection.

Over and over, I hear executive coaches, trainers, and thought leaders share about it’s all about communication. I myself, have talked about this and have written and studied the art of communication between leaders and multi-generational workplaces. But, Annette fullsizeoutput_3c47reframed this issue for me.

How would it change the “health care” (two words) experience if we focused more on connection than communication? How can we take empathy to a whole new level by focusing on authentic connection with those around us?

What I Will Do And What You Can Do . . .

I challenge each of you to think about what it means to connect with people as you strive to communicate with them. Here is a little exercise to do on your own or with your team.

I Like, I Wish, And What If

Take five-minutes after you read this and ask yourself these three questions as you move from communication to connection. We would love to hear from you as you work on this in the future.



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Consumer Experience, Culture, Design, Design Thinking, Empathy, Engagement, Healthcare, Human-Centered Design, Innovation, Leadership, Mindset, Power of Yes, storytelling

#CES2018: Consumers Want Experiences with their Technology

The Story

#CES2018 has come to a close and what a week it was! With over 180,000 people, 4,500 vendors, and cutting-edge technology all around, a colleague and I walked over 50,000 steps in 3.2 million square feet of exhibits. Although we didn’t encounter any breakthrough technologies this year, we enjoyed looking for trends and discovering ways to harness current technologies for new user experiences. We also learned a lot about robots, drones, Google, and sleep.

BuddyRobots. Everywhere you turned, there seemed to be some kind of robot that promised to make your life simpler. Some had faces and personalities; others were focused on a specific function. How about Buddy? Buddy is your companion robot who connects, protects, and interacts with each member of your family. Or, if you’d prefer, you can get a robot that sings “Happy Birthday” or one that cries with you. My favorite robot had to be the FoldiMate that folds your laundry.

Drones. If you haven’t seen it yet, take a few minutes to watch the Intel Light Show over the Bellagio fountains. Each night, Intel used 250 shooting star drones to perform a choreographed routine that dazzled the spectators. It was truly an amazing experience. And, there were drones everywhere within the show, too. Though we had some fun flying the smaller drones through an obstacle course, we also learned where the industry is going in terms of utilizing drones for improved customer experience.


Google. In 2017, CES seemed to be dominated by Alexa (Amazon), but this year it was all about Google Assistant. Google had a significant marketing investment at the show (including wrapping the monorail cars) and had major booths to show that they plan to be a major player in the virtual personal assistant space. I don’t know who is going to win this battle, but if it was anything like this year at CES, Google is on the way!

Sleep. From the technology-filled mattresses and bedrooms to mediation and biofeedback tools, it was the year of sleep aides. One of the most fascinating things we witnessed happened at the NuCalm exhibit where we saw a room filled with people relaxing in reclining chairs with headphones and eye masks while attendants walked around to check on everyone. The exhibit claimed that you would feel like you got two hours of sleep after spending just 20 minutes with them. It was like a scene out of a sci-fi movie where humans gather in sleeping rooms for technology-enhanced sleep instead of sleeping in private bedrooms.

I also have to mention the weirdest thing we encountered this year at #CES2018, which was the PsychASec booth. In this exhibit we were told of a chip that could be placed in the back of your neck to help keep all your memories in tack as you get older. The story was intriguing and frightening all at the same time.


The good news? It wasn’t real. It turns out this display was an elaborate marketing tool for the new Netflix series, Altered Carbon, in which human consciousness can be transferred from body to body. Though it was only a hoax, the exhibit was so well done that it took us a few minutes to figure out that it was just a TV show.

What I Learned And You Can Learn

As I tell everyone I work with, you must attend the CES show at some point in your life to experience something that is hard to put into words. For me, it’s about prospective. At CES, you get immersed into a world where possibilities are endless and the future is bright. It’s inspiring to see so many companies who are focused on making the world a better, more accessible place and who don’t let challenges stop their dreaming. As we continually say in the Nason Group, innovation and disruption is a mindset and a lifestyle. Nowhere is this more evident than CES.

Over the next few weeks, I look forward to diving into the hottest trends for 2018 including consumer trends and healthcare trends and helping you connect with what’s next in bridging technology with customer experiences.

What I Did And What You Can Do

This is simple. I am going to keep saying YES! in 2018.

Recently, I was asked about the Top Innovations To Expect in 2018. Here is my response:

“This is the year of the consumer, patient, or member. If your organization is not focusing on the human part of your interaction, you are going to be left behind. Yes, technology is important and should be an extension to your product of service, but not the only thing you think about.”

Though technology can be a significant piece of the innovation process, technology is only effective when paired with the voice and needs of the consumer.

So in 2018: Yes, to innovation! Yes, to technology! Yes, to the consumer! YES! YES! YES! 


Consumer Experience, Culture, Design Thinking, Diversity, Empathy, Human-Centered Design, Inclusion, Innovation, Leadership, Mindset, Patient Experience, Power of Yes, Strategy

The POWER OF YES! in Claiming What You Believe

The Story

2017 was an amazing year both professionally and personally. I celebrated 20 years with my Carlaamazing wife who, if it were not for, I would be completely crazy. (Thank you, Carla, for who you are to me and for everything you do for me.) As a parenting team, we saw lots of firsts for both of our children and got to enjoy some special times together. In September, I joined North Star Receivers and met a fantastic group of guys who have changed my life for the better. I also published a book called The Power of Yes! in Innovation! If you know me, you’ll know this is a true miracle within itself. (Thank you, Steve, for all of your hard work in pushing me to get this project over the finish line.) The Nason Group experienced tremendous growth and impact, including team members coming and going.

What I Learned And What You Can Learn

Throughout all of the events of 2017, I had a little voice in my head saying, “Shawn, what do you really believe?” That voice kept BELIEVE-IN-YOURSELF-ALWAYS--1challenging me to be a better person for my wife, kids, friends, and business partners. To respond to this nagging voice, I gathered the Nason Group team towards the end of the year and asked, “What exactly do we believe?” Something magical happened next. We hacked away at the question and, many iterations later, we have a set of We Believe statements that will help us move into the future together. We even brought in our partners to help us frame the statements so that the statements speak to the essence of who we are as the Nason Group. So, here they are:

We Believe . . .

  • The best thought solutions don’t always have to be complicated.
  • Using know me, surprise me, and make it easy will reconstruct the customer experience.
  • Disruption is healthy and necessary for growth and leads to new ideas that change the world (your world).
  • Ideas that are radical enough to change lives require a space for teams to create, develop, test, and implement.
  • Engaging consumers’ stories and voices are mission critical when exploring new ideas and the ONLY way to do business well.
  • Figuring out the right questions to ask takes time and energy.
  • With the POWER OF YES! anything is possible.

Working as a team to create these statements led me to a deeper understanding of the difference between doing and being. For too long, I’ve been caught up in the doing without spending enough time working on a foundation of being. Maybe you’ve been in the same boat?

What I Did And What You Can Do

In December, I spent a retreat weekend with my group from the North Star Receivers. Throughout the weekend, we examined at our lives and challenged each other to engage some hard questions, which led to even more clarity about my beliefs. My challenge for you this week is to do the same. Take some time to claim what you BELIEVE through these questions:

  • What conversations do I need to have?
  • What relationships do I need to address, let go of, or heal?
  • What activities do need to stop doing?
  • What activities do I need to start doing?
  • What am I going to do about “me” time?
  • What support do I need and what support am I open to receiving?
  • What is my mantra and brand that I want to live out?
  • What’s the impact I want to have in the world?



Consumer Experience, Culture, Design, Design Thinking, Empathy, Healthcare, Human-Centered Design, Innovation, Patient Experience, Power of Yes, storytelling

#NoLimits at NGPX2017—The Power of Humanizing Care

The Story

Kate&ShawnImagine with me: you are a mother, a wife, and a nurse—and you have cancer. You’re on your way to yet another medical appointment, which is now a significant part of your schedule. You walk into the doctor’s office and, without looking up, the receptionist greets you by simply saying, “leukemia!” At that moment, you realize you aren’t a mother in their eyes, or a wife, or a nurse. You’re not even a human. YOU ARE NOW CANCER. This happened to a friend of mine, Kate Sims, 17 years ago. Though she is now cancer free, she gets a lump in her throat when she recounts this story. It was the moment she realized that it’s possible to feel non-human.

And then there’s my buddy, Jake French. He tells a powerful story about a strange jake french#2accident that left him as a quadriplegic in his early 20’s. In a brief moment, his dreams of working for the forestry department and spending long days exploring the outdoors were shattered. One of the first things he remembers after the accident was waking up in a hospital bed being told by the surgeon, “Jake, you will never walk again. You will never feel anything in your arms or hands, or be able to use them again.” Words that could possibly be true, but not the first words he needed to hear after his accident.

These are just two stories that affected me and my team at the Next Generation Patient Experience Conference in San Diego, CA. I had the honor of being one of the chairs of the conference this year and to be involved in several of the sessions. We met amazing people and heard powerful, transformative stories about the great things being done in hospital systems and medical practices around the world to improve the patient experience. One of the highlights for me, was giving the opening remarks for the conference, The Power of Yes! In Health Care (vs. The Power of No! In Healthcare).

What We Learned And What You Can Learn

  1. The Power of Community – As a team, we were reminded that working in this space (improving patient experience) is challenging and complicated. Though it’s a constant uphill battle, our passion was ignited for continuing to be thought leaders and disrupters. Most importantly, we were reminded that we need to humanize care more now than ever before, as evidenced in the two stories above.
  2. The “Hi Ya” Principle – Jake French taught us that, in health care, there are a few four-letter words that need to removed from everyone’s vocabulary: Can’t, Don’t, and Won’t. When you hear these words you need to use your loudest Screenshot 2017-11-30 06.50.39Hi Ya!” and kick them out, which is happening in the picture of Jake above.
  3. Keep It Simple – Our group led two roundtable sessions where we asked each participant to step into the patient’s role and share the things that mattered most to them. We gathered 100+ ideas that we will organize visually into a constant reminder of the patient’s voice in the disruption process. The truly amazing thing here is that none of the ideas were complicated or difficult. As a matter of fact, the best ideas were pretty darn simple, but these ideas have been held up by an overly-complicated health care system!

What We Will Do And What You Can Do

I have heard this said many times over the past few days: “We are all still humans.”  In the heat of the moment , however, when care is being provided, it’s too easy for the humanity to get lost.


Here at the Nason Group, we have put a stake in the ground to make sure that we work to keep the humanity in patient care. After all, one of our core beliefs is:

Engaging consumers’ stories and voices are mission-critical when exploring new ideas and the ONLY way to do business well.

We will not waver from this! 

We will not compromise this!

We will be champions for humanizing care!

Today, we are launching a new web address ( as a reminder to us to always keep the humanity in health care.

Here is our ask of you: Take time to examine your care models, your processes, your values, and your core beliefs to make sure they are human-centered.

And then, live them out! Champion with us to make sure patient experience, member experience, and provider experience are the top priorities in your organization.




Culture, Design Thinking, Human-Centered Design, Innovation, Leadership, Mindset, Power of Yes, Uncategorized

No, No, No! The POWER OF YES In Innovation Series – Part One

“The Power of Yes In Innovation” has become a mantra of mine over the past several years. Today, I will start a series on why this is so important not only in my life, but in everyone’s life. I will be sharing more about what it means, how it works and it’s power to transform both people (professionally and personally) and organizations.

To get us started, please take a minute and watch this video. I encourage you to engage in the call to actions after each one!

The journey to “THE POWER OF YES IN INNOVATION” is a continual learning process – every week, every day, and sometimes every minute! Here are a couple of my recommendations to get you started:

GET “NO” OUT OF YOUR VOCABULARY! This word is stifling. It brings only negativity to teams, organizations, and into personal lives. You must begin to empower the leaders and associates around you to make decisions without fear of failure and try something new!

  • CALL TO ACTION: Take a risk and say, YES! Use the technique, Yes, And It will free you, your teams and the organization to fly to higher heights than you ever imagined possible.

CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT OF LEARNING! Yes, we have all heard this, but do you really do it as a leader? Do you really let your associates, teams, organizations, or leaders FAIL so they can LEARN? I’ve heard many cliche sayings over the past few years such as, “Fail Fast, Fail Forward,” “Fail Fast, Fail Cheap,” “Fail Fast, Fail Often!” What does each of these saying really mean?

I don’t know! But what I do know to be true is this: When you as a leader, as an organization, provide an engaging environment for people to learn, which sometimes includes failing, you will see your teams grow, learn, and move forward!

  • CALL TO ACTION: Find a project where you have space to learn. Do something totally different than how you would do it normally. Journal your learnings! How did it make you feel? What would you do again? What would you do differently? Then move on to your next project.

We would love to hear your thoughts on how these call to actions are helping and transforming you and your teams. Please send them to us at!

See you next week as we continue on the journey to “THE POWER OF YES IN INNOVATION!”

PowerofYES-Cover-Art-FINAL_Front-OLGet Your Copy Today! Order Here

Culture, Design Thinking, Healthcare, Human-Centered Design, Innovation, Leadership, Mindset, Power of Yes, Strategy

My Top 3 Reflections On “How To Outrun The DoDo!”

The Story…

This past week, I had the privilege of doing one of my favorite things during the year. I joined a group of health care (yes, two words – not one) innovators from the Innovation Learning Network. We traveled to the Netherlands and spent several days in the wonderful city of Nijmegen. During our time in Nijmegen, we were hosted by the REshape Center For Innovation at Radboudumc. I met the head of the center, Lucien Engelen, a couple of years ago in Toronto at one of these same events. At the same time, I met Zayna Khayat, a true innovation sherpa and my sister from another mother.  The theme they chose this week was, “How To Outrun The DoDo!”

Now the stage is set. One hundred health care innovators from the United States, Canada, Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, and many other countries, tackling systematic innovation around health care vs. healthcare (the care of the human vs. a system).

Here are my three take-aways:

Patient Included – In every sense of those words, The Netherlands has figured this out. I hear every week if not every day about patient-centered or member-centered design in this space, but we have not even tapped “patient included.”  To fully understand this, ourScreenshot 2017-10-22 16.32.46 group was introduced to Anne-Miek Vroom and the Ikone foundation. This group is a non-profit organization of humans who live and support those with chronic disorders. The organization is not an outsider in the system.  They truly co-create. They are intertwined into the health system and aim to bring better health care to all patients (I could write a whole blog on that subject, but not today.)

It’s All About The “Co!” – What does this mean? It means engaging the right people. Not just in mapping or analyzing the problem, but also in action to solve the problem. Helen Bevan, Chief Transformation Officer from the NHS shared that with the group. Very simple to say, but not simple to do.

Helen presented us with the six CO’s her team lives by:

  • Coaching
  • Co-learning
  • Collaborating
  • Co-creating
  • Co-designing
  • Connectivity

Again, a whole blog could be written about Helen’s research and the amazing work the team is going to bring this to light by creating change agents. If you want to READ more the link is included here, as well as the link to Helen’s School for Change Agents. I encourage you to register.  I will be in the school in February!

Screenshot 2017-10-22 16.05.55

Health Innovation School – Why, oh, WHY have we not done this yet? I asked myself that question several times throughout the week. We have so many innovators trying to disrupt the healthcare system, but we have never brought clinicians, patients, start-ups, hospitals, and insurers all together in one-room for an extended period of time to solve the RIGHT PROBLEMS! There will be more to come on this, so be on the look-out!

What I Learned And What You Can Learn…

This is pretty simple. Keep an open mind and explore the possibilities. Surround yourself with people that will push you to new limits and help you think differently. When you go to the Health Innovation School’s website, there is a great quote:

“Innovation is now a competency necessary for everyone across health and care, no matter what role or level.”

So, who are you going to surround yourself with to change the system from being healthcare to health and care?

What I Will Do And What You Can Do…

Take 15 minutes today and find one person to “hack” away with. Whether it be your personal passion or your professional passion, just do it.

This is How You Can Outrun The DoDo!”

Click Here To Order: The Power Of Yes! In Innovation!


Consumer Experience, Culture, Design Thinking, Human-Centered Design, Innovation, Leadership, Mindset, Power of Yes, storytelling

What I Thought I Knew – I Learned At “The Network!”

The Story…

This past week Steve and I traveled to Boston to attend the inaugural Innovation Leader event, The Network! There were 50 innovators and disruptors from all industries and IMG_8304walks of life. Now, let me be perfectly honest – most in the room were at one-time involved in corporate innovation and frankly got sick of all the red tape and bureaucracy.

Additionally, many of us in the room are in some type of consultant role. I wasn’t sure what to expect – but it turned out to be AWESOME! We met some incredibly cool people and made new friends that in the future, I know we will turn to for their rich knowledge and expert skills.

One of those crazy people was Toni Newman. Toni is a ROCK STAR who is passionate about the architecture and dynamics of consumer experience. I love Toni’s favorite saying, Why Not!

This story is just one of the many that we heard during the day. I look forward to getting together again. Thank you Innovation Leader!

What We Learned And What You Can Learn…

Innovation Failure 97% of Executives or CEO’s are unhappy with their innovation work in Corporate America. The discussions in the room that day were rich – so many execs present had experienced failure and felt unhappy. The interesting thing is that FAILURE is at the heart of Innovation. It’s what you do with it that makes the difference in attitude and value. Unfortunately, many of these teams are just doing innovation for innovation sake, instead of tying it to their business goals.

Just recently, I read a blog from Phil McKinney,  The CEO Innovation Dilemma. Phil states, that 97% of CEO’s say innovation is important, 73% agree it’s important in their organization, but only 35% are confident their organization can do it. So, what do we do?

Storytelling – What is your desired ending? What is your controlling idea? How Can I Build Empathy? What FullSizeRenderIs My Innovation Story?

Think about these three things

  • Act One: What is the Challenge?
  • Act Two: What is the Struggle?
  • Act Three: What Changed In The World?

Each of us in this space have a story that connects us to our consumers. Some of them good, some of them not so good. But the bottom-line is that we all have a narrative around our journey and our experiences. Learn how to share your story. People and/or consumers respond with richer engagement and loyalty when they can connect to who you are.

Landscape Scan – At the end of the day at THE NETWORK, we did an exercise to examine the Innovation Landscape, which was led by Dave Rutley and his team from Collective Next. We started with 2017 and looked back 10+ years and forward 10+ years. It was a powerful exercise witnessing the think tank in the room. Here are a couple of quick highlights the group came up with:

  • Thought Leadership – The people and influencers we currently look to are shifting, yet we still depend a great deal on the founding leaders of this movement.
  • Methodologies – These come and go, but what doesn’t change is there is always a consumer!
  • Landscape – Things are moving so fast in the world today that we as innovators are challenged to keep up more than ever before.

What We Can Do And What You Can Do…

This is pretty simple! Keep learning! Keep partnering! Keep exploring! As I stated above, the world is changing at an incredible pace – you must stay ahead of challenges and obstacles so you can continue to INNOVATE! 

Take 15 minutes this week. Get out and do something new and different. Challenge yourself to get out of the norm!


Design Thinking, Human-Centered Design, Innovation, Leadership, Power of Yes

Innovation Is Not Work! Innovation Is A Lifestyle!

What I Was Doing…

This week, as I turned a year older I realized something. In the past year, I have grown ten years wiser! I asked myself why I felt this way. Was it because of something that took place in my personal life? Was it the result of something that happened to me professionally? Could it have just been life itself? The answer is YES – to all of the above!!

 It was exactly one year ago this week that I walked into a new job with one of the best people I have had the pleasure to know in my life. We had an enormous challenge before us – but we never doubted our ability to get the job done. We met and worked with talented, dynamic and compassionate individuals. In the course of that experience, so many lives and an incredible business were transformed.

One of the things that made this experience so exciting for me was that my leader, my friend, trusted me and allowed me to move in a direction that I had always wanted to go. We were able to focus on transforming a culture and a business model. But the coolest part was witnessing the people transform and take flight – how innovation became part of their creative DNA.

Over the past year, I have learned more about who I am and what I want to do. Most importantly, I know what I do not want to do. I have learned the type of leaders I like to be around, and the kind of teams I like to be a part of – ones with:




The Spirit To Learn!

The Spirit To Fail!

The Spirit to Live Life Fully!

I witnessed people achieve what they did not imagine they could achieve. I saw them take flight when they did not believe they even knew how to fly. Together, we built a model of innovation that allowed us to not only do it as a job, but to live it, breath it, and have fun with it.

What I Learned…

I want to focus on my learnings on how we measure success in innovation and the impact it has on teams. Just recently I stumbled across another innovator, Adam Malofsky , who has written on the subject of innovation as a lifestyle. The cool thing is that he lives close to me. In his article, Innovation is a lifestyle, not a bunch of metrics,  Adam shared an article in Forbes about innovation metrics. The industry is caught up on ROI (Return On Investment) but not on ROI (Return On Innovation). The metrics around these two ROI’s are very different. Return on investment is all about the money. Return on Innovation is all about the people, the process, what you have learned, and sometimes about the money. 

Now do not get me wrong. I started my journey as a corporate finance person. I understand the impacts to the bottom line or the top line. However, in innovation, this cannot be the primary focus – or you put shackles and chains on the innovators within your organization.

I see innovation as a lifestyle. If you’re not doing it 100% of the time, as a part of your body and soul, it’s hard to be truly innovative.”  ~ Adam Malofsky

Yes, and Amen! When you are a leader of innovation, you have to provide space for people to breathe, for them to explore what change looks and feels like. I use to believe that everyone could be an innovator. Here is what I believe now: Everyone has the ability to learn the process of innovation, but not everyone is an innovator at heart!

What I Will Do…

Over the next year, I am going to focus on living out Innovation as a Lifestyle! I will not focus solely on the business or the situation, but rather on the why we are doing what we are doing. As a leader, I am going to unleash the power of yes in innovation by equipping my team and my client’s teams to envision and do things they may not believe possible.

In his post, Adam went on to say, “Innovation is not a program. It’s a life-long enterprise. It’s a lifestyle.” I could not agree more with him. Innovation has changed my life; it drives who I am today as a man, father, husband, and businessman.

What You Can Do…

If you are an innovator – a person that believes wholeheartedly that innovation is a lifestyle – I encourage you to take time this week to focus and declutter the obstacles in your life or work that are preventing you from living an innovation driven life. I know, it may not be easy, but get back to the things you love. Do what you do best!

Remember, Innovation is not work – Innovation is a lifestyle!


I would love to share your story on the POWER OF YES in INNOVATION in my upcoming book! Send me an email with your story.

Consumer Experience, Design Thinking, Empathy, Human-Centered Design, Innovation

VIDEO BLOG: “Run Forrest Run!” – Running Ahead Of Your Bullies

What I Was Doing…

We all remember the scene in the movie, Forrest Gump, where Jenny and Forrest were walking down the dirt road and three bullies began throwing rocks at Forrest. At first, Forrest did not know what to do. Then Jenny looked at him and said, “Run Forrest Run!”

When Forrest began to run, it was not pretty. As a matter of fact, it was downright pitiful. He was running down that dirt road in braces with nowhere to go. But he did not give up. He kept running as fast as he could to get away from the bullies. Before you know it, the braces started to break and fall off – much like shackles being removed from a prisoner. FORREST WAS FREE! 

He could not only run, but he could run fast – and he outran the bullies – becoming stronger in the process!

What I Learned…

The moral of that scene is much like many of our experiences in the world of innovation. We find ourselves faced with bullies – sometimes from the outside – but many times from within our walls. People are often afraid of the unknown. They fear that they might mess-up or worse, they might fail.

Recently I was asked about running ahead – and if there were anything I would do differently in my approach to innovation within the two industries – healthcare and higher education – that need INNOVATION. Here is my response:

What I Will Do

As a man, father, husband, and leader, I have made a conscious and challenging choice – to let people run!  As I was preparing for this week’s blog post, I came across a page on entitled, Run, Forest, Run! 16 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Forrest Gump. As I read through it, I found that many of the points highlighted need to be part of our innovation toolkit. Here are the six I believe are key:

  • Don’t Be Afraid To Be Honest – If we are willing to be honest, we may be able to come to the right sooner than later.
  • Don’t Be Afraid To Lose (Fail) – Fail Fast, Fail Forward! Just Do It!
  • Always Try New Things. You Might Be Great At Them – If we do not try new things, everything will always be the same. That is not Innovation!
  • Sometimes, You Just Have To Do The Right Thing – Even When Everyone Tells You Not To – Remember, we all are humans. We all are consumers. Do what is right!
  • You Never Know Who’s Lives You’ll Change – Exactly!
  • Do What You Love – Why would you do anything else?

What You Can Do…

It is all about RUNNING! It is all about taking ACTION! We as innovators know what needs to be done, but what matters the most is that we – RUN!

I encourage you to take 30 minutes this week and do something that you have been afraid to do. Go have fun! Go learn something new! Break free!

I would love to share your story on the POWER OF YES in INNOVATION in my upcoming book! Send me an email with your story.

Thank you to Mark McFerron for your creative mind in this video and Brownrygg Woolls for your mad video skills!

Consumer Experience, Education, Healthcare, Innovation, Leadership, Power of Yes, Wearable Tech

#CES2017 & Beyond: Where Has The Consumer Gone?

What I Was Doing…

Well, #CES2017 is history! This past week over 175k people ascended on the Las Vegas Strip to see the coolest and newest technologies for 20gallery-1483544485-hair-coach-photo-1-credit-withings17. I have to say, in three days, I walked over 50k steps and saw some amazing technologies. I mean, who doesn’t love drones choreographed to the macarena or a personalized hair coach. Or, the amazingly new sleep number 360 bed. And of course, my new sleep machine by ResMed the S+. I have used the S+ for two nights, and my sleep score is not good at all. Time to decompress and start focusing on my sleep habits.

I had the honor to sit on a panel for the Digital Health summit and as well, moderate a panel during the TransformingEDU summit. As I moved between both ballrooms, I splus-androidheard innovators and industry leaders within healthcare share innovations around attacking cancer, conquering chronic conditions and even one company, Omron Healthcare has a “moonshot”  for zero heart attacks or strokes.

I then looked at connected health, artificial intelligence, and how messaging will be the backbone of healthcare connectivity. In education, I witnessed how virtual reality and augmented reality could change the education experience.

Now, these are incredible ideas – but I could not help but wonder if this exciting maker movement is a trend, a fad –  or is it here to stay? I had witnessed all of these amazingly cool things, but I kept asking myself one question: Where has the consumer gone? 

What I Learned…

Why was I asking myself that question? I wasn’t sure, but then at dinner that night, a colleague of mine asked the same question. Here is my learning:  We have amazing, life changing technology both in the wings and in the marketplace – however, if the consumer is not involved in creating it, testing it, and using it – it is nothing more than technologyThe value in technology is at its highest when it is inextricably linked with the consumer experience.

As I was on the plane home, I read a recent report put out by, Startup+Health. The report shows the amount of money being invested in the digital healthcare space and the areas of interest. Here are a couple of graphs:



As you can see, there is still a huge demand on patient / consumer experience. The healthcare industry continues to struggle to get it right – to put complete focus on the #consumer. Yet, we as consumers, demand more and more every day from the industry.

Further, the correlation of healthcare to the education industry is mind-blowing. The biggest question I ask is, when will we actually treat students like a consumer and not some second class citizen? Educators need to understand who is paying the bill. In April of 2016, there was an article written about the Ed Tech Cool Down, and it had reached an all time low from an investment place. I am anxious to see where the year ended.

What I Will Do…

This is simple! What I am going to do in 2017 is to keep saying, YES! 

Yes, to innovation! Yes, to the consumer! Yes, Yes, Yes! 

I will listen to the consumer! I will spend more time with consumers, patients, and members! I will take time to hear their story. Remember this, we are all humans. We all have a story to tell – whether it is in healthcare or education – we must involve the #consumer in everything we do.

From the beginning to the end of the process: We need everyone’s voice. I have said it numerous times in my blog. Know Me! Surprise Me! Make It Easy! Focus on this and we will all win!

Spend time this week with your customer, consumer, patient or member!