InsightMedi’s Purpose and Vision

Not too long ago I read a book titled Built to Last. It made a big impression on me for many reasons. One of the first things I realized was that up until now, our startup has been perceived like just that in our own eyes. A small company with pretty much all odds against it — just as most startups out there — and a real chance to disappear at any time.

Reading about the humble beginnings of great organizations featured in the book helped me realize we’re not that different from them. We do share the mindset of companies like Sony or Boeing since day one. I thought maybe it was time for us to start thinking of our still-young-and-risky startup as more than “just that.

Based on the “Vision Framework” proposed by the book, we decided to work on this idea for a few hours at our highly anticipated — and first officially held — company meeting. Most of us have met several times before of course, and we do work closely every single day, but this was going to be the first time we’d fly and drive from Palma de Mallorca (Spain), Pamplona (Spain), and Washington DC (USA) to meet in person and work for two days in Madrid. It was exciting!

InsightMedi Team in Madrid — Winter 2015

Following the activities recommended by the framework, we decided to work on three main concepts: Core Values, Core Purpose, and Big Audacious Hairy Goals (BHAGs).

Core Values

Capturing authentic core values is a tricky thing. Even though I believe we did a great job at identifying ours, I still think that it’ll take time and a lot of real-world testing to make sure they are bulletproof.

We understood early on that InsightMedi’s values needed to come from our own personal values as founders of the company. One of the good things about having waited a couple of years to do this exercise is that we know each other pretty well now. We sort of knew which ones were our real values (which is helpful to avoid the “nice words to read on paper” trap) and we just needed to find the core ones, those that would reflect our thoughts and continue to guide our actions as an organization for years to come.

All of us wrote between three to five values we felt could be company’s core candidates, and passed them through the YES/NO test proposed by the book guide:

After examining and discussing all of our core candidates, we came up with the official list of five core values we all share at InsightMedi:

  • Commitment
  • Respect
  • Integrity
  • Innovation
  • Service

We did a final group review to make sure it was impossible for any of them to fall into the category of “aspiration for the future”, which is another common mistake. This was not complicated at all since, as I mentioned before, we’ve been working long enough to know right away reality from aspiration.

Core Purpose

This was a similar dynamic but instead of listing several options to choose from, we all worked hard in developing a statement of purpose in which we truly believed.

I personally loved them all. It made me extremely happy to see firsthand how each and every one of us thought about the company, and how we all percieved its purpose. We have two very distinctive backgrounds in the team. Gonzalo, Gabriel, and Jordan come from healthcare and they all see InsightMedi, among other things, as a tool to serve a community. Luis and I are technical people and we were all about the use of technology in healthcare when it came to define our purpose.

It is not that any of it was breaking news really. We all knew this in one way or another, but it was a completely different experience to watch it formally develop in front of our eyes. It was an amazing collision of ideas, feelings, and beliefs. Suddenly, the exercise started to get real and increasingly valuable.

Having fun while discussing InsightMedi’s Core Purpose

Again, after a lot of close examination, brainstorming, and conceptual debate we came up with a purpose that identified all of us:

To foster the healthcare community by providing innovative ways to share, update, and expand their knowledge.

I’m eager to see our core values and purpose navigate through corporate life as the company evolves. We do think they work well together and truly reflect what our team stands for.

Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs)

The last session we wanted to work on was related to our goals. Big Hairy Audacious Goals in this case.

We did not follow the formal approach suggested by the framework in which each person had to take a moment to envision, and write an article that they would love to see published about the organization 15 years from that point in time.

We did create 10 to 30 year BHAGs that we:

  • Felt encapsulated the way we see our company’s future, and
  • Related deeply to our core values and previously-defined purpose

Afterwards we tested them against the YES/NO questions proposed by the framework in this section:

The result of the whole process is a list of eleven BHAGs we all want to work towards, so they can become a reality:

  • To become the most prominent tool for medical collaboration
  • To captivate the largest global medical audience with the most interesting content available
  • To lead the creation of the limitless physician
  • To make an undeniable impact on the quality of care through tangible contributions to the field of medicine
  • To build the biggest database of medical images in the history of mankind
  • To become the main communication channel for the medical community
  • To set a new standard in patient privacy protection
  • To help doctors from remote communities to solve cases
  • To change the way people learn medicine
  • To put together the best medical images in a single place
  • To become the standard and fastest way to share, update, and expand the knowledge of medicine

From This Point Forward

InsightMedi exists because the people behind the company firmly believe there are endless possibilities to improve healthcare through the use of technology. The challenges this principle brings to us stimulate our desire to take action, to create, to innovate, and to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.

We envision a future in which the healthcare community works together, regardless of location, language, or field of expertise, to solve global problems effectively, to serve, and to improve the quality of sanitary care for every human being.

Our organization is committed to working tirelessly, to the best of our abilities, to find solutions where others see problems. We embrace challenges with joy and face adversity with optimism. We’re aware of our limitations, but do not care enough to be discouraged from trying new things, especially when they mean progress. Above all, we always move forward.

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Thanks for reading,


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