Archive for October, 2010

Stop whining, better kill

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Seth Godin made a good point in his recent blog post “Two problems with whining“. First it doesn’t work since nothing will happen just because you whine against technocrats and stupids (in my wording, the Shadoks). Far worse, whining is a reverse placebo because when you get good at whining, you start noticing evidence that makes your whining more true. And since, from point one, you don’t put yourself in the driver’s seat, you quickly become an old moron (“un vieux con” in plain French).

A much better behavior would be to very accurately identify what you are whining about and to kill it. I don’t mean killing in the Wild Wild West way, but rather in the World Wide Web way: building a killer application.

Because if you have really good reasons to whine, it probably means that something is done in a really stupid way… and it is probably not that hard to compete, even against the most mainstream idea. Web apps are for cheap and can provide you with amazing leverage if you are right.

Of course there is some risk that you can fail. But what you will learn during the process makes it worth a try… even if you just discover that the reasons you would have been whining about in the first place were simply pragmatic decisions made by people with more hindsight.

The President came to our house for dinner tonight.

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Marissa Mayer is a well know face at Google… and little doubt the prettiest!

She just tweeted: “The President came to our house for dinner tonight. It was absolutely surreal!”, pointing a link to the narration of this event by SF Gate.

You can read there that, among other things, Obama said he remembered his first visit to Google years ago, where he first met Mayer, and said “it spoke to the….American idea, that if we’re innovating, if people have the tools to let their imaginations run, then there’s nothing we can’t do in this country.”

It immediately struck me that reversing this sentence would accurately depict the French behavior about our DMP (the public Personal Medical Record): “it speaks to the….Ministry of health idea, that if we keep being conservative, if we make sure people cannot let their imaginations run, then there’s nothing we can do in this country.”

Ok, that’s quite easy and smart people can now guess that DMP will never exist and that we have to compete against it. Even if Obama’s Yes We Can is largely free speech, we still are missing him here!

Lessons from INSEAD

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

A paper by David Turecamo at titles The Merck Orchestra: using Mendelssohn to teach leadership. It describes symphony orchestras as rather recent bodies since it wasn’t until the 18th and 19th centuries, when composers demanded more force and complexity in the execution of their works, that they were born. Turecamo latter explains the way orchestra direction can inspire leadership in large companies.

This document resonates very nicely with my current vision in health. Symphony orchestras were born from new complexity in music; I believe that it is high time we realize that current complexity in health demands for a counterpart in the form of a genuine health team around individuals.

It will actually be hard to achieve. The main reason being that the natural cast for orchestra conductor should be the GP; and it would mean a serious new deal in leadership. Not only considering GP versus specialists, but mainly GP versus hospitals – continuity of care versus excellence in acute treatment.

May a consensus be born that we all deserve being allowed to build a personal health team, then we will soon face another challenge: this team is actually virtual. And another paper at by Erin Meyer, nicely titled Secrets of virtual success could quickly discourage you: it states that the latest research shows that skills needed to manage virtual teams are not simply different from those needed for running co-located teams; they are often the exact opposite.

Such issue remain perfectly unknown by people still working on the brave old concept of Medical Record (or Electronic Health Record or whatsoever) and its collective avatars (French DMP, NHS initiatives, hospitals portals, etc). New technologies have to be quickly born… and I expect Ligne de Vie (to be released very soon now) to play an important part in the process.