As a forewarning, I am starting this post on a bittersweet note. I couldn't figure out how to say it in the middle of a post, but, today marks two weeks before I shift away from my regular presence in the Hub. I have many reflections to share, but they will be saved for the next post. With that in mind, however, I decided that this and the next post should be connected by the theme of journey. At the end of this first post, I will ask you all to share some reflections about your own journeys, and, in the second post, I will combine your reflections with some of my own. So please, read on and definitely share your thoughts at the end!
Over the past few weeks, the Hub has been in somewhat of a continuous sprint. Projects have been moving to exciting places, many team members have been traveling to study innovation in other healthcare environments (shout out to our new friends in NYC, OH, DC, and more!), and the Hub continues transitioning into the summer.
I think every team has these kinds of overly busy moments—maybe because of coinciding deadlines, need for more staff, or just a natural break in team rhythm. Whatever the reason, these moments are frustrating and hard, and it is within them that we are most likely to be upset and impatient—not just with our work but with each other.
I felt like we were in that kind of moment two weeks ago. All of the sprinting caught up with us. Time sped up, we felt overwhelmed, and we felt disjointed. It was a bit tense. Luckily, we recognized the importance of taking a collective breath. We took a moment to put the journey in perspective. We came together to slow things back down.
The team convened and began reflecting aloud: why the Hub? Why healthcare? Why now? We each had a chance to share our thoughts. I enjoyed listening to the answers of my colleagues. Although we spend a lot of time together, it is not a common topic, and I had never thought of asking. Now, I am very thankful that we shared this moment, because I was absolutely inspired. Here are some of the things I heard:
-the work in the Hub is about people, about hearing their voices, and about making them better by connecting with them. I love people and anything that helps make them better is something worthwhile.
-the Hub allows me to be me. It is a place that I don’t feel like I have to put on some façade and be someone else when I come into work. The person I am at home is the person that gets to come here each day.
-health and hospitals hit close to home right now because I have family who have been recently or are still ill. To feel like I can be doing anything to help right now, it means a lot.
-I have used design thinking in many places, and it never occurred to me how well it fit for healthcare. The process of having to come and stay at a hospital is packed with so many powerful experiences. Working here feels more meaningful than any work I have done.
-I love interviewing people and hearing their stories. The Hub gives me the ability to not only do that everyday but also use those stories to fuel new ideas, and I love it.
-the constant push for action and the willingness to try new things is something that I have never encountered before in healthcare, and it is inspiring to see in action here—it is all about making things better for people.
My teammates said things I did not expect, shared pains that I had not heard before, and revealed such a wide range of motivations and experiences. I felt refreshed from the recent sprint of our work and a sudden renewed energy rooted in my connection with my teammates. It reminded me that, although we each have our own reasons for being here, we are on the same journey.
Journey implies that there is a beginning, middle, and end. It connotes adventure, hardship, and unknown. What it doesn't relay is an amount of time—a journey can be one day, one year, one hour. A journey can be all things that have a start and finish with something interesting in the middle. That moment as a team was a journey we embarked on together. The past month of sprinting together has been a journey. The next day together will be a journey. We all have unique motivations, but together we will share the journey.
Before I ramble on for too long (I surely have a habit of rambling on this "cyber soapbox", as Matt Brown called it), I really want to hear about your journeys. Whether you are at Sibley, in the DC area, or someone who has stumbled across this blog some other way, please click on the link below and share your reflections. You can write a sentence or a paragraph, whatever you feel inspired to do. Think about: why are you where you are now? What inspires you each day? Why this work? Why Sibley?
I look forward to reading your reflections, and be on the look out two weeks from now for part II!