AHRA Opening Keynote: Success Through Partnership
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Yesterday’s opening session at AHRA 2012 was equal parts enjoyment and enlightenment as Dr. John Paling—an Emmy-awarded, National Geographic wildlife photographer with an energizing gift for discussing how to deal with change and achieve incredible results in a world of uncertainty—offered insights on how to gain valuable perspective by looking at the natural world.
Many of us think of dealing with change as a relatively modern phenomenon, whereas Dr. Paling included segments from his stunning wildlife films as memorable metaphors for his key messages, as he provided breathtaking examples of how the animals and organisms that we have around us today are the winners of centuries of relentless change.
In listening to his presentation in which he portrayed the ways in which doctors and patients view risks differently and how they communicate, I began to think about how healthcare providers and technology vendors communicate and approach partnership, and how best to succeed.
Dr. Paling shared some fantastic imagery of a rainforest treetop orchid that successfully pollinates through a natural partnership with a green male beetle. The beetle in turn benefits from the pollen it carries from one orchid to another as it is bathed and perfumed by the orchid’s nectar in the process, which makes it more appealing to its female counterpart. It is a synergistic relationship that is mesmerizing in its beauty, and both organisms achieve life-giving results that play a key role in the survival and propagation of both species.
As I looked back at the many business relationships I have been privileged to form over the years, those relationships that have indeed become successful partnerships come the closest to the “Beetle and Orchid Ballet.” Where there is a trusted exchange of resources, information and support that satisfies the express needs of each party, and results in the success and healthy growth of those involved—those relationships are the ones where all involved have thrived. As often seen in nature, those relationship built on trust, respect and genuine collaboration where all participants understand and respond to each others needs are the ones that share the greatest success.
My passion for the wonders of nature could easily lead me to look at many more vivid examples of remarkable partnerships and life giving exchanges. But to bring it around back to the business and practice of healthcare: “How do you approach partnership? What was your greatest success and what insights have you discovered?”