“I just got off the phone with Sally. She wanted to talk about embedding live stream Tweeting in their webinars. See links below,” read the email from Nancy.
Now, when Nancy describes “their webinars” above, she is referring to webinars that Sally’s company has contracted for us to produce; webinars they are sponsoring. Because I have worked hard to do a better job of really hearing suggestions; rather than dismissing anything I haven’t personally thought of as foolish, I stayed calm and started pondering. And the more I did, the more excited I became about the idea.
Since we have started producing webinars in the discussion-panel format, the one issue has been, where will the interesting visuals come from if nobody is creating a formal deck? I mean, we do have slides, comprised of the questions that I’ll be asking and speaker bios, but I always felt like we needed something more. Enter the suggestion of introducing a live-streaming Tweetchat and we’d be shoring up our deficiencies.
I ran the idea by Kate who, in addition to being our managing editor is also our director of social media, and she was thrilled. So, as it stands today — and this will of course be tailored and refined as we go through live production — during our webinars, Kate will simultaneously host a Tweetchat on our topic. Of course, our hashtag associating all relevant Tweets will be distributed both before and during the event. And during the event, while one of our speakers is talking, we’ll peek over to our Tweetchat to see the latest comments and questions.
So our webinars get more visually compelling, our audience becomes more engaged and more a part of the show, and our director of social media gets to become a Tweetchat expert through hosting regular events. And, oh by the way, we’re going to have one very happy sponsor who sees that not only are we open to their suggestions, but we have the ability to operationalize them very quickly. Good stuff.
And what’s the key to making this all happen? Let’s say it’s the very low degrees of separation between the person making the suggestion and the person with the ability to operationalize it. What does this relationship tree look like in your shop? How far removed are you from the patients in the bed who are using the portal technology you’ve put into place, or the clinicians dealing with the EMR or communications technology you’ve implemented? Of course, if you’re a CIO worth his or her salt, you’ve included them in the selection and implementation process; but did you walk away (or hole up on your office) after that?
The main point is this: the user of that which you provide (whether you call them customers, patients or clinicians) are your best sources of new ideas to improve, to get better, to evolve. They are likely making those suggestions, but are they getting to you, or to someone who will get them to you? If a suggestion falls in woods and nobody hears it, did it make a sound? For our purposes here, it didn’t, and worse, you have a patient who took the time, who gave you the gift of a suggested improvement, but it was lost in the wind.
So take a moment and think this through. Think about how suggestions can get from God’s lips to your ears, because they will be the best things — the only things — that will keep you moving forward. Make this a reality and you can cancel your skunkworks department and reduce the funding for your innovation lab, because you won’t need them. You’ll have all the great new ideas you could ever want.