This Telegraph news article here tells how a 16-year old schoolboy on work experience helped address the problems encountered when a heart by-pass surgery patient's records are unavailable and there is no way of knowing what work has been done before.
Observing his father (a cardiologist) dealing with a patient in this situation, he asked whether there was some way of writing a code inside the patient, so that future surgeons would have the information they needed straight away, enabling further surgery to take place without undue delay.
This innocent question sparked an idea, which resulted in his father developing a system
- The schoolboy was not part of the surgical team and had no direct or relevant experience that might have been helpful in this situation. However, this 'ignorance' was to his advantage, as it meant he approached the problem with a fresh outlook. In many day-to-day activities at work, there are times when a new perspective can help a team tackle a problem or improve performance and KM activities like a Peer Assist can help bring different perspectives to a team and new insights to a problem.
- Thankfully, the surgical team did not suffer from the 'not invented here' syndrome, whereby people resist external initiatives or suggestions simply because they came from an outsider. This is sadly the default workplace condition and all too often leads to 'groupthink', preventing or inhibiting innovation. Teams that have developed a learning culture are more likely to be receptive to new ideas.