I’m attending an Entrepreneur’s Think Tank at the local Career Center and the Tech Sandbox in MA’s MetroWest region. I helped start something in 2012 called Pain Points in Healthcare Mini Unconference, now Healthcare Innovators. Each of these groups assembles people with bright ideas trying to set up a viable business. Often people with more passion than practical knowledge seeking to fill in their gaps. I am 63 years old, seasoned with energy, ideas, connections and yes – gaps. I’m older, good at what I do, and still in need of mentors and coaches. How else will I stay good at what I do? Searching for, finding, and offering mentoring is serious fun.
When my wife and I were much younger we decided to build a house ourselves – the whole house -foundation, framing, plumbing, electric, chimney, all of it. We had energy, chutzpah and huge gaps. We’d never built anything more complex than a changing table out of a single piece of plywood. We freaked out my father-in-law with our yawning gaps. We succeeded because we knew we had gaps and sought mentoring. Mentoring came from friends, acquaintances, and family (yes, my father-in-law helped us install the diagonal flooring of rough cut oak, all the while muttering what idiots we were). Innovations come from ideas + energy + ignorance (gaps). If you know it all, you’re less likely to take a chance and try something new.
Our healthcare system is a mess. No one would have / could have created this system. The industry is desperate for innovation. Many in the healthcare innovation business think that innovation = technology. I think that innovation often depends on healthy relationships – how people work together: Teams, leadership, trust, lack of fear, and yes, mentoring.
Help innovation – mentor and be mentored. It’s worth it, it’s a gas.