We had a VIP, Mr Joseph McCannon come into Ko Awatea on Thursday 17th January 2013. Mr McCannon is Senior Advisor to the Administrator and Group Director of Learning and Diffusion in the Innovation Center at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Prior to this, he was Vice President and a faculty member on dissemination and large-scale improvement at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). He worked at IHI from 2001, leading organizational efforts to spread change in Africa, the United States, and several other regions. Specifically, he supported IHI’s collaboration with the World Health Organization to design and amplify its “3 by 5” initiative – an effort to deliver antiretroviral drugs to 3 million people globally by the end of 2005.
During Mr McCannon’s visit he gave a presentation during lunchtime in the innovation lab sharing his experiences and ideas. Mr McCannon talked about how he has experienced a lot of change effort in different countries; he has been exposed to large scale changes from his experiences in healthcare, corrections and working with the homeless.
Mr McCannon discussed the matter of how you approach innovation, he talked about the standard approach to innovation that most people take ‘The Road More Taken’ (a pleasant road). An easy way for companies to work but doesn’t achieve a lot. Companies that take this road fail because they have a discomfort to shifting to execution. All their efforts are being used in planning and being strategic rather than actually doing. People taking this road are fearful of failure.
On the other end of the spectrum is ‘The Road Less Taken’ (a harder better road) which in his experience gets results. Mr McCannon said this is where people thrive, a more hands on approach which has been proven to produce better results. Companies taking this road have a resilient culture; Mr McCannon said it’s about getting back up when you fall down no matter how many times.
Mr McCannon spoke about large scale change he said it is about the day to day logistics, he used a quote from the US Army to explain this “Amateurs discuss strategy. Professionals discuss logistics.”
At the end of his presentation attendees were welcomed to ask questions and voice any comments they had. Geraint was interested to know what the Oval Office at the White House was like. Other staff voiced their own experiences related to his presentation and were interested in hearing about his time working for the American Government.