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Weaving not Spinning

JOK in actionLast week I bought two new books and I have been enjoying what I see in my initial skimming through them. One book is called “Engaged Journalism – Connecting with Digitally Empowered News Audiences”, and the second is called “Connecting to Change the World – Harnessing the Power of Networks for Social Impact.”

From what I can see so far, the basic premise underpinning the first book is that today’s news outlet needs to transform from playing the role of lecturer to that of conversationalist if it wants to survive and thrive in the digital age.

The second book is premised on the observation that small organizations need to collaborate more than ever before if they wish to succeed in an increasingly complex environment, and that the fundamental skill required for success is the ability to weave a network of collaborating individuals and organizations.

These concepts are central to what we are trying to achieve at CDA, especially with our Oasis Discussions platform (both website and mobile versions). The vision of our Knowledge Networks Department (we are longer called the Publications Department) is to convene a community of practitioners around a virtual campfire where the most important stories to Canadian dentists (and the people who ensure our clinical success) are told by the best storytellers in an environment where non-experts do not feel intimidated by experts.

Rather than being portrayed as the pronouncement of a deity, any post on Oasis is either a conversation opener or an addition to a conversation that only becomes enriched and reaches its full potential, when dentists and other interested parties actually engage in and add to the conversation. Two Oasis Discussions posts involving Dr. Joonyoung Ji of Ottawa that were created in the past week exemplify this approach to promoting clinical conversations involving sharing insights that can benefit us all.

To create the first post, I visited Joonyoung’s office and asked him to tell me about a technology he incorporates in his office to help him practice clinical dentistry better. I have a very broad definition of “technology” because I refer to any material, instrument, device, technique, procedure or system that enhances clinical practice. In a very cordial conversation, he talks of three approaches he uses to achieve profound local anesthesia in a “hard to freeze” patient.

It is my profound hope that many of you will add comments in the comment box associated with this post and advance this conversation. At a later stage, we will then be able to re-package this set of insights in an easy-to-find place. We are also hoping that many of you will contact us with suggestions of technologies that have enhanced your own clinical practice. All you have to do is give us a signal that you have knowledge and insights to share and we will walk you through the process, step by step, to help you share your insights in as easy a manner as possible.

Joonyoung’s second post involved him and me discussing a patient with a potentially catastrophic medical condition that he has been asked to manage. He is still assessing how he will actually manage this patient, but he has promised to come back and have another conversation with me on Friday May 27 at 1:00 pm (Eastern) to share his thoughts about how to manage this patient. He and I wish to invite up to 20 colleagues to join us for this virtual coffee break to discuss this patient’s management.

We wish to create a non-intimidating atmosphere for this clinical conversation where you will feel comfortable to ask questions and provide your own insights. If participating in this conversation (or others we hope to hold in future) appeals to you, please contact us here at CDA and we will walk you through the process of how you can engage, participate and contribute to our network of clinical knowledge sharing.

With your active involvement in our own campfire stoked by our profession, we can weave a new type of clinical knowledge network for Canadian dentistry, and provide an exciting alternative to publications owned by others outside the profession who are preoccupied with a particular type of spin.

I look forward to hearing from you by email either at oasisdiscussions@cda-adc.ca or jokeefe@cda-adc.ca. Please free to call me by phone at 1-800-267-6354 ext. 5000. You are also welcome to contact me face-to-face by desktop video conference at https://zoom.us/j/6136144798. This is a really easy system to use, and you can connect to me directly if I am available to meet with you to discuss matters contained in this post.

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