FountainBlue's February 2024 Newsletter
It started as a cold, which led to laryngitis and even some vertigo. But with the help of great technologies and tools, and the participation of some fabulous leaders and panelists, the self-facilitation plan worked.
Thank you for everyone who showed up and joined in, who led and self-facilitated this month when I had physical and IT challenges. This month’s newsletter is dedicated to each of you.
2024 will be a Year for Traction
Last year was a year of great change and great learning. I must have spent 50+ hours in various classes, 50+ hours in conferences and seminars, and 100+ hours in planned and unplanned real-life, character-development exercises. From these learnings, I’ve decided that 2024 will be a year of building traction, putting these new skills to work and bringing in energy and a different level of programs, clients, and initiatives.
First I had to decide that TRACTION was worthwhile and that I was worthy of the positive energy and momentum.
Thanks to many conversations with my close community, I am internalizing the notion that building traction at this time is a noble and achievable goal - one that I am worthy of. Thank you if you were one of those people - you know who you are.
Next, I had to make consistent and proactive choices to back up this new CHOICE. This year, I’m committing to aligning my energy behind select leadership and innovation, projects, people and causes.
My new disciple: when I feel that eager pull, that persistent itch, I first ensure that it fits the overarching goal and is of sufficient priority, worthy of dedication, resource and time. I’ve learned to walk away, to respectfully decline, to support from afar when this is not the case.
When the choice has been made, it’s a matter of managing my ‘feeling’ side, so my DOING side can perform.
Interestingly, managing my emotions has meant engaging with my body, distributing my energy from the right/emotional side of my brain to the left side of my brain. For example, I use exercises like breathwork, push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, planks, stretches, sprints, etc., to help release any spiraling energy, so that I can focus on the ‘doing’ side of my brain. (Yes, I’m feeling very fit these days.)
The ‘doing’ has become second nature because of my range of experience and my ability to build CONNECTIONS, ensuring that challenges and opportunities are distributed across an ecosystem of people and organizations.
When I get to this phase, it feels like I’m on ‘autopilot’, leveraging the skills I’ve developed over decades, connecting with trusted others in a tight ecosystem and ensuring win-win benefits for all.
I always make sure to circle back from the doing side to the FEELING side, so that I can validate the feelings, reassure their value, feed my purpose and instill hope and faith.
And this feeling step invites more CONFIDENCE as we return to the first stage and continue full cycle: aligning to PURPOSE, making better CHOICES, DOING more things better, accepting more TRACTION, with the help of CONNECTIONS.
Time will tell whether I will indeed gain more traction in specific ways. But regardless of the bottom line results, the character development and personal satisfaction goals are well worth the effort.
May these thoughts help make 2024 be a year of traction for YOU as well.
Notes from last month’s When She Speaks Online Program
FountainBlue's January 18 When She Speaks program, on the topic of 'Bring Your Full Self to Work'. Please join me in thanking our esteemed panelists.
Our dynamic and insightful panelists really stepped up to the challenge this month, stepping in and showing up as their full self to self-facilitate as I was voice-challenged. Below is a summary of the conversation.
Choose to be your full self.
Love what you do, do what you love so that you can choose happiness.
Have the self awareness to know how to feed your soul, seize your purpose.
Carefully align what you think, what you say and what you do, showing up fully as yourself.
Be confident enough to choose to be an empathetic, authentic self.
Know that how you show up is a proactive choice, and choose to be fully yourself.
Consider the business advantages for embracing your full self, and welcoming others to show up fully:
Culture development and relationship building
Creative problem solving
Alliances and partnerships
Motivation and retention
Below are some strategies for how to show up as your full self, even when you don't feel comfortable doing so.
Filter the feedback that you receive and absorb what will help you grow and succeed.
Adopt a growth mindset.
Surround yourself with a group of authentic, empathetic, open-minded, collaborative people and help each other to succeed.
Embrace corporate and community groups and networks who can help you grow and learn.
Find the intersection between your skills, your passion, what your customers need and what your team needs.
Think deeply about how being uniquely yourself adds value to people, process, and tech around you.
Below are some thoughts on how you can help others better embrace their full selves.
Adopt a humble, 'I'm the white belt' mentality, being open to learn from others.
Try using a 'I don't understand YET' mindset.
Show more curiosity than judgement.
We ended with a brainstorm on how we can better encourage everyone to bring their full selves to work:
Watch powerful people sharing in a vulnerable way
Heart over head – hope to get to it, apologize if it doesn’t fit in
Feel safe, seen, heard and respected
Ask people about their why
Help and nudge others
Confident enough to try
Open-minded to try different things
Be a leader and role model
I was inspired by our panelists this month as they not only showed up so fully as their full selves, but they are also helping the rest of us to do the same!
Notes from this month’s Front Line Managers Online Program
FountainBlue's January 11 Front Line Managers Online program, on the topic of 'One Plus One Makes Eleven'. Please join me in thanking our panelists.
as a Product Quality Leader - Lili Yeung, Workday
as an Engineering Leader - Sam Gupta, Pure Storage
We focused this month's conversation around building teams and helping them evolve from good to great. Below are some thought-provoking suggestions from our esteemed panelists:
Be compassionate and supportive while maintaining a high quality standard and inspiring participation and engagement.
Create a culture which values growth and learning, a safe place where failure leads to success.
Ensure that the tasks, role, and assignments are clear and in alignment with the organization.
Be metrics-driven, clear on what's being measured over what timeframe with clear rationale.
Integrate diverse perspectives and build creative and agile teams, committed to delivering exceptional results.
Encourage the Outliers, enabling them to succeed, but beware the Disruptors who can't commit and align when a decision has been made.
Establish clear and reasonable objectives and boundaries while modeling the way and rewarding success.
Make it easy to share and transfer knowledge, to help enable collaboration and resourcefulness.
Aim for delivering at the 80-90% level, because targeting 100% solutions may not be realistic and may not be worth the much increased investment of time and resources.
Focus on building a broad range of skill sets, not just deep expertise on specific skill sets.
Below are thoughts on how to embrace innovation opportunities with a high-performing team:
Welcome a combination of strategic and tactical skills within the team, and create a culture which values both perspectives.
Adopt a growth and partnership mindset which creates mutually-beneficial relationships and ecosystems within and across your organization and industry.
Be curious about solutions from adjacent markets and industries, in the context of how that might support the needs of your own customers.
Take chances; fail fast, fail forward and fail in new ways, on your path to innovation.
Collect detailed and specific information about problems and needs from customers and work with customers directly to design customized solutions.
Consider the market opportunity in delivering solutions for niche audience/niche problems.
The bottom line is that the work is challenging and demanding, but the rewards are great if we can work together and deliver exceptional results in alignment with a common purpose.
Notes from last month’s VIP Roundtable Online Program
FountainBlue's January 19 VIP Roundtable was on the topic of 'Data Meets Healthcare'. Below is a summary of notes from the discussion.
There are many challenges for incorporating data into healthcare solutions including typical data usage challenges such as Data Bias, Data Validity, Data Security, but also data challenges specific to healthcare, including Data integration (across and within organizations, across providers, payors, caregivers, and insurers) and Data Privacy.
But if we could somehow work together to create identifiers which collect full and complete information about each specific patient in an accessible format, we could make more informed decisions, better influence outcomes, and ultimately take a more longitudinal perspective to inform treatment and improve outcomes, providing longer term benefits which are also more cost effective.
We could also coordinate across clinical, behavioral, pharmaceutical, neurological, and other teams to achieve more efficient results and better clinical outcomes.
Below are some suggestions we could each adopt to support the smoother, more efficient integration of data into healthcare solutions:
Adopt an ecosystem view of healthcare where siloed groups and organizations share information, collaborating to drive better patient outcomes.
Start with the use case and work together to identify the relevant data to best address the use case.
Collect enough data so that you can see the whole person over the long term - their lifestyle choices, their behavior, their health history, as all of this impacts how they can best be treated.
Leverage data to help invent, develop and commercialize life-transforming medicines for specific illnesses.
Provide access to scalable, modern applications that improve clinical, financial, operational, and experiential outcomes for hospitals and clinics.
Create measurement tools that accurately and objectively measure disease activity, progression, and severity, allowing for better management and care.
Leverage AI so that we can:
quickly and thoroughly sift through the huge and growing database of information about specific diseases
help enable precision medicine, specific treatments for the right patient at the right time based on their specific profile/history
It's clear that data will be integrated into healthcare solutions. It's not clear how and when it can be done, who will rise to the challenges, and how many can benefit in what ways, as solutions evolve.
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