It is always interesting to me when folks have training sessions on Innovations. Like many of you, our agency has had innovation “jams” bringing together consultants and staff from various parts of our organization to stimulate thinking and encourage fresh ideas.
My sense is that we are often scared off by the word “innovation” and the underlying idea that change has to be bold and dramatic. All of us recognize the importance of change and the positive impact technology is making in all parts of our lives and communities and we look forward to the continued benefit of advances in health care.
If I were to measure the benefit of technology/innovation in my life, what would be more important? The app that tracks my mileage? Or the app that I use for mindfulness exercises? And is the fact that I use an app to practice mindfulness at good thing? Such are the questions of modern day life and the never ending quest to accomplish more with less. By and large, these technologies enable us to do more, have more, be better.
At the same time, I find it disheartening to compete with cell phones at the dinner table and it makes me downright sad to see kids a restaurants struggling to gain their parents’ attention while Mom and Dad are scrolling Facebook. It's tough to watch how technology can disengage us just as easily as it brings us closer together.
As you read this issue and celebrate the opportunities becoming available because of an array of innovations, I would remind us that there is no substitute for human connection and for friendships. So our work must include the opportunity for the people we support to develop significant relationships and overcome social isolation.
There is no innovative substitute for love.
Angela King is CEO of Volunteers of America Texas and ANCOR's Board President. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.