So back in Toronto for the week – I’m headed off for a holiday in Europe with my family next week so expect it to be quiet from me over the next few weeks.
While I was at the HL7 WGM in Atlanta a lot of new furniture arrived and including the stools for our corner lounge area in the new office. It’s one feature I was really looking forward to – there’s a really a nice bench which you can park yourself at with your laptop and enjoy the view – it’s gorgeous – you can see right over the Toronto skyline including the CN tower. It’s a nice way to start the day with going through emails and having a coffee (doing that right now!).
I’m not a great photographer but I took a quick snap – it’s the view you can look forward to if you come to our first user conference for Iguana in September the 19th and 20th. After spending a lot of time last week in the windowless basement of the Sheraton for the HL7 WGM I think it will give quite a different feel both in content and in feeling. I’m excited about it.
My team will get some more photos up when the last of the furniture arrives. I firmly believe that if you want to build a team that is going to change the world (and make no mistake – we are changing the world and intend to continue doing so) then you don’t want to put that team in a basement. The new office is huge, airy and has large open spaces to make it easy to share ideas and collaborate.
The HL7 WGM was really interesting – it’s been about eight years since I have been to a WGM. I’m older, uglier and (somewhat) wiser. Given all my experience since then I think I had a far better grasp on what the issues are for HL7. HL7 has an information problem. It’s like any large corporation – there is a huge difficulty in information traveling from one part to another. In the 1990’s HL7 was the disruptor – they broke new ground in terms of getting grass-roots support from hospitals and smaller vendors to make data flow in healthcare. The processes that HL7 had then aren’t scaling well to deal with the size and complexity of modern healthcare IT that exist today.
Some of the international affiliates like the UK often feel like outsiders in the process – the standards are generated within the core and consumed by the colonies – although Grahame Grieve is breaking new ground since he comes from Australia and I guess Ewout Kramer is from Holland and Lloyd McKenzie is from Canada. I think it’s quite a subtle dance as to who get’s to influence the standards. The world isn’t black and white – there are many shades of grey.
I was blogging a lot during the event – there was a lot of material. There was a fascinating thread which opened up on my last blog post. Barry Smith of HL7 Watch took some of the more salient points. There was enough material that I could have easily filled up another 10 entries. HL7 definitely does have some issues to sort through. There was too much good stuff happening last week – Toni and Jeff got to go hang out with the cool kids over at Rockhealth – can’t help but think I got the short straw on that one! Toni next WGM you come to it and I’ll go somewhere really fun. It’s one of the many things that HL7 needs to work on, embracing start ups and entrepreneurs more – the organization has never really felt like it welcomed that type of energy as much as it should do. I think it’s a really big problem for HL7 because you need to cultivate that grass roots support.
Bit of fun trivia – I found out that Grahame and I went to the same schools in New Zealand – Raroa Intermediate and Wellington Boys college – holy cow, it’s a small world.
Ah – my coffee is done, time to start some real work.
Notice the trees of Toronto have conveniently decided to produce our corporate green 😉