Our Medical School Connectome

All too often we see organizations as hierarchical pyramids—a few important people at the top and a lot of people scrunched down at the bottom and bearing all the weight.

I think it is more useful to think of ourselves as a connectome than as a pyramid. We all hold part of the collective knowledge and wisdom. Our part becomes most valuable when shared with others. Organizations don’t just exist like buildings or monuments. They exist as a group of participants who are engaged in a common goal, and the word “participants” is fundamental here. Although it is our collective action that has impact, each individual’s contributions are unique, valuable, and essential to the desired outcome.

How well an organization functions has a lot to do with how we manage our interconnections and how we ensure that all members are valued and given a chance to participate meaningfully. A colleague’s thoughtful response to the November 19 message on Hope included/inspired the points below.

  • Participation. This includes performing your job, working toward the overall goals, casting your votes/voicing your opinions, and responding to others.
  • Be kind. How we interact with each other greatly affects how well we function as an organization.
  • Hope. We give hope to and receive hope from those around us by valuing each other not just for what we contribute to “group success” but also for our intrinsic worth as human begins, and because of our individual talents and contributions.
  • Inclusion. Who are the parts of our connectome? Who helps us? Facilities staff and environmental services, food services, administrative support staff, nurses, administrators, doctors, schedulers, research scientists, and …?
  • Gratitude. If, every day, we took the time to thank others for the efforts made on our behalf, for a job well done, for good service, it would have incredible impact on how well this organization functions.

As the Medical School continues to evolve, there are many areas we need to think about and to improve. It is helpful when you point these out, particularly when you include ideas of how to make things better. Please use the Feedback button below freely. Thank you!