No one wants to be in a hospital, right? They’re serious places where serious activity occurs. But there have been great strides in creating environments that aid the patient experience. Go into many new or newly remodeled hospitals and you’ll see lighting, architecture, furnishings and art that may remind you of a hotel. And this isn’t just for cosmetic purposes; positive patient experiences have documented positive impact on patient outcomes.
But when it comes to mealtime, you’ll probably be reminded that you’re not staying at some swanky hotel. Or maybe not. (more…)
When Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines early this month it destroyed pretty much everything in sight. One of the biggest storms of its type, it was also the deadliest typhoon on record for the Philippines. And while tragedy abounds in Haiyan’s wake, relief – albeit too slow and too little in some instances – is finding its way to the storm’s victims.
The old adage of “necessity is the mother of invention” is showing up here. Countless people are felling necessity like never before as huge swaths of infrastructure were washed away, but inventiveness is emerging in response to the storm damage as well. (more…)
Fare trade is an initiative that many of us support. It is especially prevalent in the coffee realm these days. I mean, think about it: If you had to choose between an $8.00 bag of ground light roast from a grocery store brand in a can or an $8.00 bag of ground light roast fare trade coffee, which would you choose? For some, coffee is just a commodity caffeine delivery system. But for others, a cup of aromatic java becomes something quite different when the nuances of the flavors intertwine with the richness of the stories that lead to that dark sea of goodness in your cup.
Or put differently: some want to buy coffee and others want to buy into coffee. (more…)
There are nearly a dozen countries in the world where one in four kids don’t make it to age five as a result of the absence of healthcare access. Resources that most of us take for granted – like clean water and air, proximity to doctors and simple technology – could contribute immensely to places like Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia; places where healthcare services are practically nonexistent. Indeed, these places have a paucity of any infrastructure, let alone health care infrastructure, and as such this seems like an intractable problem. And yet, a San Francisco-based company called Medic Mobile is looking to tackle this challenge head-on and in a very creative way.
Medic Mobile (which was founded by Josh Nesbit in his dorm room at Stanford) has a very succinct mission statement: improve healthcare in under-served communities using mobile technology. And inexpensive mobile technology at that! Medic Mobile develops simple software that provides community health workers with access to health records, mapping of health services and data collection, all on their mobile devices. (more…)
In case you missed it, last month I introduced Studio/E to my blog. Studio/E is a place for thinkers and leaders to come together, share ideas, play and feed off of one another to help navigate the swirling seas of change and the entrepreneurial mindset that can assist in navigating toward success.
As part of the Studio/E curriculum we work with enrollment, the art of getting people behind your idea because they see their self interest in seeing the idea happen. This week when we met, Studio/E graduate Molly Mogren got up in front of the crowd to pitch her idea and get her community involved. Molly is one my favorites – she’s so cool – and her idea is so wonderful that I want to share it with my own network. I want to enroll you because I think you’ll benefit from this idea as well. (more…)
Child safety: It’s a serious subject. It seems that schools aren’t quite the safe havens they used to be. But if you look beyond the headline-grabbing and gut-wrenching incidents of gun violence, there’s a much quieter effort afoot that is disturbing as well. In the effort to shave all the rough spots and sharp edges out of the way of our children, some schools are taking away play and placing our kids in very antiseptic and unnatural bubbles. Not a great way to pass on relevant knowledge and experience to deal with the very real world that our children will be entering.
This Education Week article addresses three schools where innocent past-times are being banned so as to keep kids safe. At one elementary school in New Hampshire kids are no longer allowed to play tag. Yes, you read that right: Tag, as in the innocent game where kids run around a playground (while getting much-needed exercise and burning energy) and put the tap on one another. A Port Washington, NY school is banning balls of all types (except Nerf balls according to the article – although I’m betting cotton balls are ok too). And some schools in Kentucky are banning the sportsmanship-building POST-GAME HANDSHAKE. Why? Because apparently some kids just can’t exhibit good sportsmanship and are getting into fights. So instead of enforcing the culture of sportsmanship and the positive long-tail effects of playing your best and congratulating the other side, we’ll just get rid of the practice. (more…)
Bloggers have long criticized TOMS shoes for its one-for-one model. When you buy a pair of TOMS, the company gives a pair to someone in need in more than 60 countries around the world. TOMS does the same when you buy a pair of glasses – it gives a pair to someone in need. It’s a great idea. It’s doing good … but is it really good enough?
No doubt, there was room for improvement and I’m thrilled by the kind of leadership that TOMS has under its founder Blake Mycoskie, who has used perhaps the most important tool a leader has – his ears – and has announced an important pivot. (more…)
I reserve this blog space for the purpose of highlighting people and communities that do cool things. Many are products that have a great social impact or people using their influence and talents to do good things. It recently dawned on me that I haven’t yet written about something that I personally have been spending a lot (OK a ton) of my mental fuel on – something called Studio/E.
The story goes like this: lifelong friend Tom Wiese (counsel & master deal architect) and I were out hiking in Colorado a few years back when we asked ourselves a couple of questions: we work with a wide variety of leaders across just about every sector, so what is the one thing that is stressing them out? And what could we offer to help them be even more fulfilled and successful on their journeys? (more…)
What makes you happy? Through research and the myriad books published on motivation, we all know that money isn’t quite the best motivator, nor does it lead to intrinsic motivation. Actually, that’s not exactly breaking news: nearly 2,500 years ago, Socrates started some powerful thinking pointing out that true happiness is derived from playing out our “meaning” as agents of good and moral codes, not merely from acquiring “things.”
So what else can make you happy? Close family? Good friends? Great food? Yes! Those all contribute. But nothing contributes to happiness quite like sharing your gratitude. Showing your thanks, it would seem, packs a meaningful punch.
Last week while listening to my friend Olga Viso (director of the Walker Art Center) speak at Inside the Leadership Studio with the Urban Land Institute, she mentioned something that really caught my attention. Ever pushing the conversation of art – where to experience it and its societal importance – she mentioned the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Massachusetts and how they have teamed up with the nearby Lincoln Nursery School so as to provide experiential education to children. Naturally, I went home and did a little research. (more…)