Up for Another Round with HIMSS: Inaugural Digital Influencer
After being honored to participate in the HIMSS Social Media Ambassador program for four years, it is a great pleasure to continue contributing to and partnering with HIMSS as one of the ten inaugural members of the new Digital Influencer Program. As announced, the Digital Influencer Program has defined an ambitious set of goals in terms of producing content, driving connections, and creating opportunities for interaction. The goals are without question exciting and should serve a springboard for any number of conversations, innovations, and developments.
An initial, central question that I keep coming back to though is the following: what is an influencer? One definition is a person who inspires or guides the actions of others. The influencer concept is one that has certainly caught on for social media, though in the social media space it frequently seems to assume somewhat negative connotations premised upon concerns about whether depth is lacking. The basic idea though of someone who inspires or guides others is promising.
The means of making inspiration most helpful very much depends both on the eye of the beholder and the sense of the person providing. Influence can be blatant and out in the open, or more subtle by working behind the scenes. Based upon the goal, either can be equally as effective or ineffective. One of the keys to success is being able to read the situation and adapt, if possible, to provide the most effective form.
While the ability to adapt is helpful, remaining true to one’s own viewpoint and sense of how to engage is also important. If there is any feeling of falseness or lack of authenticity, that will be detected without fail and all efforts will collapse around it.
Despite those initial thoughts, it still does not necessarily capture my point of view on influence. Maybe driven by my training as a lawyer and enjoyment with the role of counselor, I find influence can be best described as providing support and guidance to enable others to achieve their goals. The focus on assistance does not mean that I do not have goals of my own or other objectives, but it is also fulfilling to provide counsel to others and see their goals get closer. As I often discuss with people, in healthcare the course to get to those goals will be a lot more complicated and less direct than initially expected, but the process of getting there will require a lot of collaboration and coordination, which results in a better end result.
In working with people through those paths, I view my influence as more subtle and in the background. While advice can at times be out in front, ultimately many decisions are not necessarily in my hands, though I can provide the means and basis to make one of a few decisions that can have a ripple effect down the road. Each ripple can then produce different decision points in the future, each of which will require their own assessment and evaluation. Being able to think about each of those points both distinctly and as a whole is where influence can come to bear. Bringing a broader perspective from considering the industry as a whole as opposed to one company or individual’s point of view can open eyes to different possibilities, which means expanding potentials that impact not just the person or company at that moment but others that will end up interacting with that person or company. That is the beauty of influence, it is almost never a simple one and done. Each interaction will live on through what can probably best be described as butterfly effect.
While the description of influence so far is very much in the background and designed to be a subtle form of support, more public displays are also needed. From my perspective, more public influence works best when the intent is to provide information and resources for many to utilize. That is arguably a prime motivation for wanting to blog as I feel there is benefit in providing explanation and insight into legal or other issues, which provides another data point that could help another make a better, more considered decision. It is always better to have the opportunity to consider a diverse array of viewpoints than remain in a single lane without ever being challenged.
With all of that in mind, what do I hope to get out of the HIMSS Digital Influence Program? The opportunity to meet, engage, connect, and interact with as many different people and companies as possible. The ability to learn from so many is exciting and has been one of my prime motivations for being a Social Media Ambassador for the past four years as well. I have found the doors that open because of those connections lead to many different destinations that I did not anticipate and have influenced my own views and thoughts. That is also a good point to remember. Influence, in my view, is never in just one direction. It should always go back and forth since once an interaction starts, each participant to the interaction will be putting out their own ideas and views that can inspire the other participants.
While there will certainly be more to come over the next year, I do have a simple call to action at this point in time. Reach out to me and start a dialgue whether it be through email, Twitter, by phone, or some other means. There are so many things to discuss in healthcare that trying to identify a topic should not be a hard hurdle to overcome. Once the conversation starts, it will not be easy to predict where it will go. The only sure outcome is that something unexpected will happen.
This article was originally published on Mirick O’Connell’s Health Law Blog and is republished here with permission.