#HIMSS16: Because It is What We Do

by Adam Bazer


Collaborators aren’t born, they’re made.  Or to be more precise built, a day at a time through practice, through attention, through discipline, through passion and commitment-and most of all, through habit.
Twyla Tharp - The Collaborative Heart


We come together for ritual.  To birth.  To build. To bury. To harvest and break bread.   We come together because of a place deep within us, a place of ancient threats that banded us together, brothers and sisters all, exploring the landscape for signs of the path ahead.  We come together because that is what we do when the mission is greater than our individual spirit.  When we want to give ourselves over to something bigger than us.  To find our holiness as part of a greater whole.  We come together because it is what we do.

When dancers come together, they dance.  When singers come together, they sing.  When healers come together, they heal.  At the center of the dance, the song, the cure, is collaboration & connection.  Joining hands and hearts together, finding problems and their solutions together, investing passion into action together. 

What is it that brings us together every year at the HIMSS conference? 

There will be rituals for sure.  Let us honor the discipline of Starbucks Line™ formed mysteriously (or not so much) an hour or so before activities start.  Let us honor the practices that come with the Great Hunt for Electrical Outlets ™©, those elusive and highly valued trophies of our digital age (although we’ve found their breeding grounds this year).  And of course let us honor the sweet discipline of the Awkward Badge Glance with Accompanying Handshake™© ®Patent Pending).  Bring people together and there will always be ritual.

And there will be births.  HIMSS’ Vice President of Professional Development, JoAnn Klinedinst, marks each of her 21 HIMSS conferences the same way she marks the growth of her daughter’s height, walking through her first HIMSS conference (I’m sure on aching feet) pregnant with both her child and her decades-long involvement with the organization.  Bring people together and there will always be births.

And there will be building.  Oh so much building.  Pop up cities, one minute bare concrete floors, the next transformed.  I’ve only seen barn raising on TV, but I’ve seen with my very own eyes hundreds of hands raising the walls & roofs of thousands of exhibition booths, playgrounds of possibilities, in the same short order.  Bring people together and there will be always building.

And there will be loss.  Those that are no longer with us, the sound of their laugh at last year’s reception still so fresh in our ears.  Those enterprises whose time came to pass, eulogized in sometimes hushed, sometimes harsh tones.  Those initiatives whose hopes were as high as their landing was hard.   Bring people together and there will always loss.  There will always be burials.

And there will be harvests.  Those innovative ideas whose time has finally come.  The lesson picked up in an education session that reaps rewards at home.  Mentors and mentees finding each other in miraculously happenstance moments, waiting for a shuttle, exchanged smart alecky remarks sitting in the back of an audience together.  Bring people together and there will always be harvests.

And we will break bread.  Oh, will we break bread. 

And we will dance.  And we will sing.  And we will heal. 

So as you lose yourself at this year’s HIMSS conference, as you find yourself gently coasting on a wave of the movement of tens of thousands spirits moving as one, remember what brought us to this place of connection and collaboration.   Remember it is because it is what we do.