This post was originally published on July 24th. Since this piece of our website was not working for all viewers, we're republishing some selected posts this week.
As big fans of TED Radio Hour, and even bigger fans of medical collaboration, we loved the recent Radio Hour episode about the "chaos and power of collaboration."
The piece weaves together perspectives from diverse folks (everyone from Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales to the guy that invented CAPTCHAs.) And interestingly, the diversity of viewpoints actually highlights the common threads. Here are the points that struck us as being applicable to medical collaboration, and resonate with what we observe in our ClickCare users:
1) Collaboration isn't motivated by money.
We get so used to the idea that people are interested in saving time and earning money. But the existence of a massive collaborative effort like Wikipedia proves that people's motivations to collaborate go beyond just making a dollar.
- Interviewer: "Human motivation is driven by incentive, usually financial, and your model upends that principle."
- Jimmy Wales (of Wikipedia): "Well I don't think so. And that's what's interesting, is that, yes, if somebody has a view that human beings are only motivated by money then they're going to have a pretty blinkered view of how humans behave -- and also a fairly sad life."
Later in the episode, Clay Shirky lists the intangible rewards that people get for collaboration: autonomy, competence, belonging, and generosity. He also says that "cultures get what they celebrate." Which means that we can facilitate collaboration in whatever group we're a part of. Not by plying folks with financial rewards, but by celebrating generous, creative, collaboration.
2) Collaboration can happen 10 seconds.
Early in the episode, Luis von Ahn explores whether there is a way to use just 10 seconds of effort to do something great for humanity.
Later, Clay Shirky confirms that most people have a surplus of time and talents… but it might be found in little bits throughout the day. In fact, he says that world has over 1 trillion hours/year in "cognitive surplus." For many people, huge amounts of that free time are spent watching TV. For the rest of us, it's likely that our free time comes in such small bits -- 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there -- that we don't recongize its value. But both in Luis von Ahn's massive translating effort and in ClickCare's medical context, even seconds of collaborative effort can have world-changing consequences.
3) Collaboration shouldn't interrupt you.
The practice of medicine has become frantic and interrupted. No healthcare provider has as much uninterrupted time with patients, other providers, or herself as she needs. If it's not a page interrupting us, it's paperwork. And when it comes to collaborating with other providers, it starts to seem like one long game of telephone tag.
ClickCare's store-and-forward technology (read: you respond when you have time and don't have to hunt colleagues down for consults) was designed to solve exactly this problem. Because as 37 Signals's Jason Fried says, "If people don't have time to think -- and thinking time has to be your own time -- then they have a really hard time producing great work."
Fried couldn't be a bigger proponent of collaboration. But as he says emphatically (and we agree): "Collaboration is good, but we shouldn't mistake it for interruption."
Want to experience iClickCare Hybrid Store-and-Forward for yourself? Try iClickCare for the iPad and let us know how it made a difference for you.