100th Blog & InnovationG3 is Born (& destined for greatness)
“When you form a new partnership you have to be careful to allow others to express their thoughts and be respected for doing so, innovation thrives when you control yourself to allow others to speak……”
As my condition takes hold, as its speed of destruction picks up pace, as it removes more functions from my control, as it erodes my ability to be a private person, corrodes my dignity and self-respect, as it increases my need for and reliance on others, I cannot help but wonder if I am blessed in other ways. I must apologise to anyone reading this, it isn’t easy to express and is somewhat jumbled in my head, so my ability to put it down here in any semblance of sense is definitely going to be a challenge. However, I can compare it to those stories one hears from time to time, people losing one sense only to have another compensate; losing sight and hearing becomes more acute. In my case I feel that as I have slowly lost functions below the waist, as my legs have become useless, and I won’t go into the help I need with hygiene and the like (yuk!), I feel perhaps my mental capacity has increased, my mental creativity has improved. OK I have just read that last sentence back and it sounds really big-headed and I don’t mean it to at all; I did warn you I would struggle to express this. Perhaps if I take a different route all will become clear.
Regardless of the weather I am unable to get out of the house without the help of others, and, following real problems with my shoulders thanks to wheelchair services (another story), any spontaneity is impossible. So to capitalise on my new ventures of 2012, I have effectively needed to turn my home into my office. I was so reluctant at first as I felt it was yet another sign of my disabling disability, but actually it has worked (and is working) extremely well – as one capacity goes another one compensates! Even though I am on rather large amounts of painkillers, and assorted other tablets, some of which can be quite sedating in nature, I do feel my mind has become much sharper and much more astute even compared to pre-disability days. Although this could be accounted for to a lesser extent by an increase in experience and natural maturity, I still think as my body decays my mind is developing much more capacity and agility.
But this is in itself a bit of a curse I suppose, as I am cursed by what I like to refer to as the “entrepreneurial attention deficit” or EAD. This is a condition that in some ways defines the entrepreneurial mind in my opinion, and is the cause of significant frustration, even more than being stuck in a wheelchair. Entrepreneurs are always looking for the next thing, the next idea, the next concept, the next product to catch that ever wandering eye for something shiny and sparkly, yes there is a bit of a Magpie in many an Entrepreneur. EAD means that one concentrates on the latest product, the latest development and takes it to the point where it is doing ok and exceeding ones expectations. By this time of corporate/company development, the true EAD sufferer has already got two more ideas in the pipeline and ready to go, and has already appointed those better to run the outgoing company into longer term operations. And it was at this point of transition for me that something rather remarkable happened.
Enterprises from 2012 were settling, reaching their steady rhythm of commerce, my eyes and mind had long since started to look once again at a list of ideas I had written down, frequently added to over many years, and often used to feed the innovation part of my mind. And this is where opportunity knocked hard and loud on my door in the guise of a friend of mine with rather an intriguing proposal. He had just taken early retirement from one of the Country’s largest Universities where he had been a Director of health and social care. He was steeped in experience, connected in all the regional and national networks, worked for Skills for Care, had established and run a regional level Care Alliance, and his CV goes on and on. He was one of those characters that I respected from the first moment I met him, and he oozed sincerity and credibility. His idea was a simple one but so very creative of him. Put together three people:
- An Entrepreneur with a proven track record of success in the public and private health and social care arena, someone who was innovative but also could put together several elements and create a new product or service (as it turned out this was me);
- An expert in health and social care education, and with the ability to network and sell ideas, also an innovator in his own right but also one that was exceptionally well respected in many statutory organisations (that would be him);
- Another Entrepreneur who had established himself as a successful business person in his own right and an expert in IT, software and programming, a proven innovator;
This was our fellowship but not of any ring; a fellowship of Entrepreneurs, Innovators, and as it turned out all free thinkers who, respected each other’s opinions, listened to each other, found each other a source of innovation and generally got on really well. It was a brilliant stroke of match making by my friend to see the potential the three of us together would have, where one is weak the others are strong and visa versa – really quite inspired. So we have formed a company specialising in finding positive solutions to health and social care issues, using innovative ideas, new thinking, and utilising the very latest in technology. Already we have developed two ideas into products that we know will make a positive difference and there are a further eight ideas in the pipeline.
InnovationG3 is born and will thrive, based on the purist of business principles:
a) Looking at old problems in new ways
b) Opening one’s eyes to new ideas
c) Listening more than we talk
d) Genuinely respecting the opinions of others and really thinking about what they have to say
e) Never accepting that there is no answer, instead believing we need to think differently
f) Seeing things from a different perspective whenever possible, a different angle always helps
g) Just following a thread of someone’s idea and contributing positively to it rather than judging it
h) Don’t take things personally, if someone disagrees with you then that’s fine, they have a right to an opinion
Improving & facilitating the contact between loved ones
Improving the engagement of relatives of loved ones in a care environment
Improving the quality of engagement between Carers and those receiving care
Improving the ability to manage pain effectively
Improving services through user engagement
Improving the ability to meet people’s spiritual needs
Improving accountability in care delivery
Improving the quality of care documentation
I have a feeling this will be my legacy, this company will be my finest hour in commerce, and to be in such good company that is so non-judgemental is refreshing beyond words can express. I think 2013 is going to be rather quite special.
Smiling Cat Ventures and Innovations Group
Smiling Cat Ventures Ltd (www.smilingcatventures.org)
Innovative Minds @ Work Ltd (www.innovativemindsatwork.org)
Moments in Time Ltd (www.momentsinmind.org)
Innovative Business Consultancy Ltd (www.ibcv.org.uk)
Systems of Equality Ltd
Passport to Care Ltd (Social Enterprise – Not For Profit)
Spiritual Inclusion (Social Enterprise – Not For Profit)
Disability In Business Centre (in development)
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