Sunday, July 14, 2013

Ideas in Action

When I was a lad, sodas were 10 cents from a vending machine. Not being fond of sweet carbonated drinks, I told friends that it would be great to have these machines dispense ice cold spring water in bottles. Of course they laughed at such a goofy idea.

My bottled water idea was a lark – just a dream – because there was no action or plan to develop it further.

Ideas without action are not a unique occurrence – this is the fate of most creative thought. Even if an idea is written down but introduced by “they should...” - it merely entertains your mind and does not create value unless you take action.

Think about it – how does innovation and knowledge create value? It comes from taking action on an idea, not just the idea alone, and applying it to get results.

Health care is changing radically due to the new law and supporting technology is evolving rapidly in response to its needs. The Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health and Google Glass Meetup got together this week to start a conversation about how to use the emerging technology of wearable information devices as a tool for providing better health care delivery.

Keith Montgomery, Executive Director of Center for Total Health, describes his organization's role as a place for conversations which lead to new ideas for improving health care. What I noticed is they are not looking for new science, they are looking to get patients to be healthier by doing what we know works.

Antonio Lugaldia, an organizer of the Google Glass Meetup group, demonstrated the glasses (which are equipped with a computer, camera, heads-up display, and internet access), and was just released to the developer community. The user can transmit what she sees and receive data and graphics on Google Glass heads-up display.

Center for Total Health and Google Glass Meetup brought together health care practitioners, consumers, and app developers to talk about needs and potential solutions using this technology. By the end of the evening, several possibilities had been identified – like the emergency room doctor who thought having the patient's information and vital signs available through while he was working could improve triage diagnosis and care delivery.

While this conversation might currently be similar to a boy telling his friends about vending bottled water, Center for Total Health, Google Glass Meetup and Google are committed to caring it forward to action – results – value.

The incentive for continuing to talk is the consumers and developers are sharing their needs and solutions – asking stakeholders what they need speeds up the development of useful solutions.

The larger conversation is how to change behavior of health care consumers and providers to improve patient outcomes. For example, technology can permit a patient to monitor their health and improvements from modifying their behavior.

Ideas are plentiful and worthless – action creates payoff.

Open Source Leadership – the new paradigm

Rainmaker 20 – The New Business Models

Traditional business models emphasized massive size or focused specialization.

The new business models use technology and global reach to create a smaller, efficient footprint.

Users now have access to events like Google I/O and to utilities that easily complete complex tasks.

Elements of the new business models:

  • Businesses are smaller – we don't need the throw weight of the past
  • Resources are not limited to local or regional access
  • Business structure changing from hierarchy to network
  • New projects now spend less time counting and more time building – collaborative resources reduce or eliminate the hire/train cycle
  • Architecture and security instead of command and control process.
  • Outsourced functions – e.g., delivery and warehousing – eliminate using internal resources for these functions
  • Not classroom training – open access groups share knowledge via forums, events, and blogs
  • Changes are more agile – in process and software – updates are launched as needed, instead of the next revision
  • Nanoscale changed the proof of concept phase of development – faster, cheaper

Keep the scope of projects to what can be done now and what is affordable now – add additional features and enhancements when you have customers and cash flow.

Google + - Center of the Internet

Why Blog?

Why blog?

When we asked folks at Blah, Blah, Blog and Blog Lab why they blog, here's a few of their answers:
  • The boss told me to
  • Recruiters will see me
  • I may make money by blogging
  • I am a writer, and therefore I blog
  • I have something to say and want to share it.

Whatever the reason, to get into blogging, the first step is reading a variety of blogs to see what others write about and how they say it. How would you have said the same thing? Could you make it better?

Ready to do it? Make a commitment to writing the blog – it's a discipline, not a whim.

How do I start? There are a variety of ways to begin: write a comment to a post in a blog you read; write a guest post on a blog; or just jump in and launch your own blog.

What's the format and style?
  • Short posts are more readable than writing a novel
  • Focus – a single thought for a post – if you have several thoughts to express, write several posts
  • Give it a great title – make people want to read the post
  • Size of the post is about 10 sentences/ 5 paragraphs
  • Make every sentence relevant to your point
  • Use your own voice to write the post – what's natural and best conveys your meaning...simple is better than flowery.

Where do I find topics? Everywhere – when you write a blog you are always looking for interesting items as topics – meetings, books, events, conversations... there's plenty of stimulus available for material.

How often should I post? Dick says a mature blog is six posts – write and post, don't save them up and dump them all at once. Writing once a week is fine – but be consistent in posting weekly. Want to do more? Twice per week is good. More is overkill – if you're on a roll, write the additional posts and hold them in draft until ready to release.

Final thought – how many blogs have you visited only to find the last post was six months consistently.


Write and post a blog today!

Something of Value

Let's look at two situations:

A presenter, when asked if said she would make the program slides available to the meeting attendees said no offering this reason – this is my professional work and I will not give away my thoughts and insight.

Eric Raymond, wrote about the open source software model (he was instrumental in its development and expansion) and a confederation of volunteers wrote Apache – the program backbone of the internet – and he published it and distributed the book for free via the internet. (ten years later, ESR published it as a traditional book for sale).

Before the internet, information was metered out in dribs and drabs – a great sales technique - and it was considered a valuable 'gift' from the company contact. In contrast today, there is an incredible collection of articles, slides, white papers, videos, and other original materials available without restriction on the internet.

Something interesting has evolved from this 'free' availability of information.

The concern that if I give away the process or problem solutions, no one will buy help from me – and for some, reading a process on the internet is sufficient and they will use the information to craft their solution – no help needed, thanks!

Others will review the process but will seek out the originator for help to effect a solution to their situation – the resources may not be available internally or lack depth to be effective in developing modifications. Often, after implementing the original solution, a different problem is revealed which needs attention – who do you think will come to mind to address the new problem?

Chris Andersen decodes this internet model of providing value for free in the book Free: How Today's Smartest Businesses Profit by Giving Something for Nothing - give away something of value to win long-term customers.

As providers or consumers we are wrestling with a new value model – and are finding there are a number of new dimensions to the model. One thing seems plain, however; restricting access to knowledge is like swimming against the current – a lot of work and very little progress.
A definition – value is something that costs me little, but you can't buy it for any price – this really helps to put the topic into clear perspective.


There's a descriptive term which could result in more accurate communications: fixin'.

You are fixin' when you are not yet doing, are not yet planning to do, are not yet getting ready to are almost ready to get ready to do something.

A classic example is when a family gathering is winding down. Departing family members are fixin' to leave when they get up and huddle by the front door but continue to talk. They are not leaving, not gathering coats, not corralling the kids – but they are almost ready to get ready to do so.

It's application to business, social, and volunteer situations are almost endless. Like: fixin' to write a blog; fixin' to get season tickets to the local playhouse; fixin' to get new members.

Greater use of the term would significantly increase understanding of the true status of activities or projects.

I've been fixin' to write about this topic for a while now. What are you fixin' to do?

Google + - Center of the Internet

Three Rings or the County Fair

  • The circus is all about activity and show.

  • The county fair is about mastery and creating...roll up the sleeves, do it better, excel – pies, pumpkins, sheep, and prize-winning cattle.

Which has the lasting impact on everyone involved?