Sunday, April 27, 2008

GEL 2008: Bridget Duffy

If there is any industry that needs a major make-over, it's health care. And if I or anyone I know ever needs a major procedure done, I am am likely to make the decision to choose the Cleveland Clinic as a result of Bridget Duffy's talk at GEL. She is an accomplished doctor, as well as the Clinic's Chief Innovation Officer. She's involved with everything from empathy projects to redesigning the hospital gown. Originally she wanted her title to be "Chief Empathy Officer" - that's how much she believes in empathy's value.

Empathy is a funny thing. Kids have tons of it. In our early adult years through midlife, we lose a large amount of it, and then as we move into our later years, we revert back to our empathic capacity from childhood. So we have it - we are born with it. And like the creative spirit, we bury it somewhere deep within our recesses, until some life-altering event brings it back. Our challenge is to find a way to keep our empathy from being beaten down in the wake our busy lives.

My favorite quote from Bridget's talk: "Everyone needs GPS - a guide to take them through every system. And companies need it, too."

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