Design Thinking with HRSA Huddles and HHS IDEA Lab

Track TEAM HHS Ignite 52165

HHS IDEA Lab HQ (View on Flickr)

Yesterday I went to the actual HHS IDEA Lab (@HHSIdeaLab) – it is a place 🙂 ), for our monthly check-in with the team I am on, called HRSA Huddles for now (HHS Ignite – Being part of the 2015 HRSA Huddles team exploring collaborative work | Ted Eytan, MD).

Prior to the check in, though, we spent quality time at the Center for Total Health (@KPTotalHealth) expanding our thinking, creatively, with our mentor Tyson Weinert, who is the US Coast Guard’s most awesome Innovation Program Manager, he was awesome with us for sure. I took photos (of course) of some of the techniques used to understand the problem better and flex our brains a bit.

At the check in itself, there’s a substantial commitment from the Idea Lab team to help all of the teams along, while channeling their passion for service to the people they serve. And really that’s why they are here.

Innovation mentorship from across the organization, developing teams to solve problems better, to help a lot of people who depend on them, for a lot of different solutions – check out the Idea Lab projects list – as vast as the things our Department of Health and Human Services does for the American people. It’s a huge commitment and great to for me to see (and share).

I’m being mindful of my presence as someone not within the culture of the organization, while bringing in support from our organization. We got to listen in to the daily huddle performed by my colleagues in Public Relations and Communications in Oakland, California for communicators across the country (Thanks @SusannahPatton !) yesterday. They seem to have mastered the brief (less than 10 minute) daily check-in, on a cadence, for a diverse group of professionals working in different parts of the U.S. I know because they also send out a daily recap every day and I usually follow-up on 1-2 things every time. That’s high value for me.

And…this work is changing us, too. The Center for Total Health team has changed our huddle schedule in response to questions that we asked ourselves about how to use our time effectively for the people we serve. It’s going well.

I am *only* bummed that I did not grab a photograph of our two teams (Center for Total Health / HRSA) together.  It’s innovation = creativity + listening + a dose of “proudly discovered elsewhere.”

Life in social innovation! I’ll keep posting along the way, we are just 1/3 of the way through…

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