This week’s photograph actually shows how innovation comes from constraints. I got to visit the AT&T Innovation Center in Washington, DC, this week, thanks to a connection from clinician colleagues in innovation Geeta Nayyar, MD ( @gnayyar ) and Cat Costa, RN ( @catiecosta ) from the health practice at AT&T.
We learned from our hosts Joy Spahr and Larry Crenshaw that the Center has existed long before there was a Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health – almost 20 years longer (inaugurated during the era of that famous Tom Selleck voice-over advertisement). When we commented on the shape of the table above, how its curvature promotes better sharing and collaboration, we were told that the table is designed to mitigate a design aspect of the building, which is the large support columns in the room that you can see in the picture. That’s a testament to the creativity of this group in turning a potential minus into a huge plus.
Geeta is pictured in the photo below, with Larry to her right. I call her the “social CMIO” because she’ll go on walking meetings, she tweets, and she encourages people around her to, as well. Even though she lives in Florida now, I know her heart still has a little DC inside 🙂
On the way out, Cat asked if I would follow friday her on Twitter this week. I met Cat about a month ago when she stopped by the Center for Total Health and we talked about how she was learning how to use Twitter, with encouragement from Geeta. I thought about the request for a microsecond and said, “heck yes!” A leader, a clinician, who’s willing to try something new, stick with it, and then ask for support to continue their journey (as opposed to being a condition for going on the journey) easily gets an #FF from me.
With thanks to Joy, Larry, and the team at the AT&T Innovation Center for sharing their experiences, their personal interest in health and healthy environments, and Larry’s off-the-charts design sensibilities. Check out the rest of the photos below – he’s got talent! (and I have jealousy)