This post was written by Gretchen Hammer, a previous member of our team.
Like any good Type-A person, I love to have a plan. And, I love the current CCMU strategic plan. Forged by the staff during a retreat last fall and then improved and approved by our Board, it succinctly captures our aspirations and our efforts. We use it regularly, checking our work against it once a month during staff meetings, and creating dashboards to monitor our progress. I'm not ashamed to say I gleefully anticipate reviewing those dashboards and checking our work against our goals.
But, as much as I love our plan, I have a nagging concern that we may adhere to our plan so closely that we lose our drive to innovate or miss out on taking advantage of an inspired idea. And it got me thinking - is it possible to plan for inspiration?
In search of an answer, I came across a cool site called the Visual Thesaurus, which put forth two compelling concepts about what inspiration is:
- A sudden intuition as part of solving a problem
- Instinctive knowing without the use of rational processes
Planning for intuition or instinct sounds counter-intuitive, but if you are in need of inspiration, there must be a way to kick-start the process. And based on what we have heard from our community, we are definitely in need of some inspired ideas.
Despite the great things we know that are going on right now to improve the health care experience, they are not happening fast enough or broadly enough for everyday Coloradans to feel the change. Throughout our work, especially Colorado HealthStory and Aurora Health Access, we have the opportunity to engage with Colorado residents and we've learned that their perception of our current health care system isn't pretty. Most are completely perplexed by the fact that:
- we can't compare prices for health care services
- we still have to FAX our health care providers
- costs are often unaffordable even if you have health insurance
- in modern American society, some people still don't have access to basic primary health care
- most encounters with health care providers still involve sitting in an exam room alone, half naked, for 30 minutes or more, only to then get 10 minutes of a provider's attention
A national survey conducted by Deloitte confirms these experiences, reporting that less than half of health care consumers give the system an A or B grade for availability and convenience. 31% of health care consumers give the system a D or F for patient-centered care and wellness promotion.
Which brings us back to the point: we need some inspired ideas - some sudden intuition, some instinctive knowing - to solve these challenges.
So, this summer we are boldly trying something new at CCMU. We are building into our calendar an "Inspiration Day." This day, modeled after a concept in the book Drive, by Daniel Pink, will be a time when all of us will set aside one full day for non-strategic-plan-related work. Staff will be able to work on anything they choose, however they choose, with whomever they choose. There will be just one rule - we must each deliver something at the end of the day - a new idea, a new project, a new approach to an old challenge.
When the CCMU staff go missing for a day this summer, now you'll know where we are and what we're up to. Hopefully, the inspired, creative work that comes from that one day will lead to a new section for our strategic plan for next year.