ZenStorming

Where Science Meets Muse

Posts Tagged ‘communication’

Communicating The New – A Book Review

Posted by Plish on December 30, 2013

I recently finished reading, Communicating The New: Methods to Shape and Accelerate Innovation by IIT Institute of Design Professor, Kim Erwin.

The premise of the book is simple but it’s a point that gets missed.  If someone is trying to communicating a new idea, the typical way is to use concepts, techniques and metaphors that are familiar. I’ve seen it in many industries.  In music we hear people say, “The music is a cross between Joan Jett and Enya.”  While the statement is provocative, it falls short because people are forming an idea of what the “Joan/Enya” amalgam sounds and looks like, a perception that is likely inaccurate in some, if not many, ways.  In business I’ve seen products described as “XYZ product but it does it in a different way and better.”  Again, this type of comparison rings hollow and doesn’t do justice to what may truly be a ground breaking concept.

So what to do?

As the book points out: If you want to communicate The New, it should be done in ways that get the message across and at the same time pave the way for bringing the idea to fruition.  It’s not just about transmitting information, it’s about bringing information alive and making it engaging on myriads of levels.  Hence the subtitle of the book: “Methods to Shape and Accelerate Innovation.”

While the book is about communication, it’s about much more than that, it’s about creating and cocreating – bringing things to actualization.  This book is about innovation tactics; it’s about dream-storming.  We all have heard and seen great ideas that don’t get a chance to spread their wings because the idea was  ineffectively communicated.  This book shares tools to give an idea wings.  In addition, it provides tools that will excite and empower stakeholders/team members so that they engage with, and develop, fledgling ideas.  The more these people are engaged, the more they feel confident and enthusiastic about pushing an idea out of the nest expecting it to fly!

The book is easy to read and is aesthetically pleasing as well.  There are multiple case studies and insights from innovators – it adds breadth to the content.  One minor complaint I have is that there are some great graphics that span adjacent pages. As a result, some of the content in the graphics is hard to see because it disappears in the seam between the pages.  Granted, the content of these ‘page spanning graphics’ are from case studies and they aren’t really pertinent to the content of the chapters, but the graphics were interesting and it drove me nuts to not be able to see the entire graphic.  If I can read part of a graphic, I want to be able to read all of it.  Just a personal pet peeve. The remainder of the graphics are well done and helpful, illuminating the text.

The resource section of this book, what people would normally consider the end notes of a book, are outstanding and provide links and directions to sources for further research.  This chapter is a gem and should be read.

A final point is that a book about communicating The New, should perhaps be more than a book. The webpage is a step in the right direction, but somewhere in the back of my mind, this book is screaming for new ways of being shared.   I am also looking forward to more case studies of people who are successfully (and unsuccessfully!) communicating The New.  This book is just getting the conversation started!

Erwin’s book is a welcome addition to the libraries of innovators and entre/intrapraneurs alike.  I highly recommend “Communicating the New” for anyone who has ideas and knows it’ll take more than an army of one to make them reality.

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Posted in culture of innovation, Design, design thinking, Entrepreneurship 2.0, innovation, Tactics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Resources and Tips to Improve Communication and (Your) Healthcare Quality

Posted by Plish on September 28, 2011

…Communication is two-sided – vital and profound communication makes demands also on those who are to receive it… demands in the sense of concentration, of genuine effort to receive what is being communicated. – Roger Sessions

The Joint Commission says over 70 percent of sentinel events — sentinel events are unexpected outcomes, death or injuries — over 70 percent are due to breakdown in communication, That’s a huge deal. – Sorrel King, Founder of Josie King Foundation

We know that when patients and clinicians communicate well, care is better. But in today’s fast-paced health care system, good communication isn’t always the norm. This campaign reminds us all that effective communication between patients and their health care team is important and that it is possible – even when time is limited. –  AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D.

Communication – real, deep communication- seems difficult enough when two people are healthy and  have all the time in the world to share.

Now put those two people in a doctor’s office, make one a doctor and the other sick and communication becomes even more difficult.  And, if the quality of communication goes down, the quality of healthcare is not too far behind.

To help keep the level of communication high, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has begun an initiative to foster more effective communication between patients and clinicians. One aspect of the initiative emphasizes the importance of asking questions.  People ask all types of questions when buying a cellphone, why not when dealing with their health?  The AHRQ provides videos of both patients and clinicians, highlighting the importance of asking questions and being prepared for the doctor visit.

With regards to being prepared for the doc  visit, Dr. Oz provides a great one-sheet (it’s pictured at the beginning of this blog entry – click on it to get a copy) that helps women if they think they may have ovarian cancer.  What about if you have other problems?

Write the symptoms down- draw pictures showing where it hurts! Make your own list of problems and things to ask.

“The process of drawing is, before all else, the process of putting the visual intelligence into action, the very mechanics of visual thought. Unlike painting and sculpture it is the process by which the artist makes clear to himself, and not to the spectator, what he is doing. It is a soliloquy before it becomes communication. – Michael Ayrton

Ayerton’s quote is very apropos.  When we write and draw, we make things clear to ourselves. When things are clear we are able to articulate them better to others, and this improves the quality of communication- that is, if someone is listening.

I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. – Robert McCloskey

Listening is more than understanding what the other person is saying.  Listening, truly listening,  affirms the one speaking.  When we listen to others, those people feel valued for who they are; it builds trust.  It shows that we respect those people, that we value their stories, their dreams, where they’re going and where they’ve been.

With the gift of listening comes the gift of healing. – Catherine de Hueck Doherty

…Listening…

…Healing…

Maybe it’s not that innovative, but  it’s what healthcare is all about, isn’t it?

*****Postscript*****

I have an appointment with my orthopedic surgeon tomorrow, the 28th, and while in the shower thought of a couple of things that I hadn’t before with regards to how my leg is healing.  I’ve written it all down in my phone so I don’t miss anything in the morning (I wrote this blog on the evening of the 27th).  It’s actually a relief not having to expend energy forcing myself to remember what to say tomorrow.

Posted in Design, Healthcare, innovation, Life Stages, The Human Person, Wellness | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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