Reflections on Connections
“Together, we can positively impact the lives of more than 25 million people. We at Netsmart rise each day passionate about this opportunity.”
The assertion above can be found in the “about us” section of the Netsmart company Web Site. Can you guess which word is most important to us? Passion is certainly up there. Opportunity? Yes, we believe in seizing it. But it’s “people” that are at the core of who we are. And that’s what stood out at Connections 2014 – our annual conference with clients that was held this year in Anaheim.
Technically speaking, Netsmart is an IT company. But the interactions with clients during the multi-day event reaffirmed that we are ultimately about people. Technology is the tool by which we facilitate change. But until we meet face-to-face and understand our client’s needs and wants, their challenges and heartbreaks, their real-life stories and successes –technological “solutions” are, at best, misguided.
When you sit-in on a session and hear what our clients deal with, you become reminded once again that they have to adapt to each individual. Even when they are using evidence-based treatment, they have to look a person in the eyes and determine what is best for that living, breathing individual. And so, we as a company, have to be adaptable, as well.
In a previous blog, I shared my background as a street reporter. I didn’t do stories from the studio because, well, the stories don’t happen in a studio. It’s not until you reach the scene of a given “story” that you realize it’s not a story at all. It’s someone’s life. It may be the single worst day of that person’s life. There’s something unique to the incident, to the person, to the circumstances. And if you treat it with care, consideration and a heart toward influencing change, you’ve done your job well. Our jobs at Netsmart are much the same – we are about people. We have to be about people! And until we meet them face-to-face we can’t fully grasp the magnitude of their circumstance and the change they need to bring about.
But wasn’t Connections about our clients? Wasn’t it supposed to help them? Of course. And, judging by the responses we received, it did help them. But anyone who’s ever given of themselves and offered a service will tell you that they get much back in return. We, as Netsmart associates, return from interacting with clients with more passion, more determination and a heart for reaching our goal of changing lives by helping our clients be more efficient, by giving them the peace of mind that their businesses are sustainable, and by showing them how our integrated solutions will better serve those in the neediest of communities.
One final note. There’s a value in interacting outside company headquarters with colleagues, too. We all – clients, colleagues, and invited speakers – got to know each other better as just people. And that’s why we call it Connections in the first place. Can’t wait to connect with more of you throughout the year and at Connections 2015 in Washington, D.C.!
– Kevin Patrick Allen