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TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY · May 4th, 2018

Connecting All the Dots

by Yang Shi

SENIOR DIRECTOR, BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY & OPERATIONS

Founder Stan Creighton on innovation:

A long time ago I bought a piece of property and moved into a mobile home to live there while I built a house. At the end of the project, I realized I built the house too close to the mobile home, and I could not get it out using a truck. It was totally locking in. I was told the only way to get it out of there was to dismantle it and destroy it. That didn’t sound like a good idea. I worked the problem for a while and came up with a good solution. The key was to connect the dots as my thinking progressed, accepting some ideas and rejecting others along the way in a process. The end result was a good one:

Stan Creighton uses a giant crane to lift his mobile home up and out of the way.

My most innovative ideas come from a process, not from a vision of the outcome. I don’t see the outcome until the end of the process. By that, I mean I see a problem, or I have a feeling that something can and needs to be improved or solved. The next step is to start working on it, and the key is to connect the dots. To me, innovative outcomes are the result of successfully connecting all the dots in a continuous process of small adjustments until the moment one can say ‘that’s it!’

In early April, NVA participated in the second annual Veterinary Innovation SummitStan was among the participants and it struck him as one of the most exciting conferences he’s attended.

It was a clash of industry disruptors: Veterinary students with entrepreneurial mindsets, long-term practitioners who’ve discovered an unrealized need in our daily lives, developers outside our industry looking for a way in — they were all there. And they were all working to build that next great thing. The thing that promises to book more client visits, expand our community, deliver more pet services, and provide the kind of animal care that was never thought possible.

NVA is not a software business. Nor do we develop any significant code. But at the summit, what became very clear, very early on, was that NVA was recognized. Among the sea of startups racing to share their exciting, new software pitches, we were well-known as a fair, interested, and supportive partner in this veterinary innovation ecosystem.

They are not incorrect. NVA is present, involved, and always ready to engage. And we’re building our voice and credibility in the veterinary software arena. Our hope is that as we continue to provide feedback, operational insights, and pilot opportunities to these tech innovators, our entire profession stands to benefit, and we can continue to narrow the health gap, deliver better care for patients, and greater experiences for our clients and staff.

This means growing our capabilities in:

  1. Trailblazing new technology
  2. Identifying pain points and creating tech solutions
  3. Forging mindful partnerships between our hospitals, pet resorts, and vendors
  4. Constructing programs to onboard and support innovative and impactful technologies

This can be our way of keeping up and leading aspects of the technology-driven disruption of pet care that we are all a part of today.

NVA’s Business Technology & Operations Team at VIS with founder Stan Creighton.

As we progress, we look forward to sharing more with our community in this forum. Each month, our new “Pet Tech and Innovation” column will touch on a new theme, including topics like:

  • Client engagement platforms
  • Data gathering for both medical and non-medical insights
  • Telehealth, telemedicine, and tele-triage
  • Technologies and services that enable new clinical processes

In doing this, we hope to inspire and promote purposeful innovation across NVA, in our hospitals, pet resorts, and the Support Center. Stan is excited to be continuously involved going forward in partnership. And we look forward to connecting more dots.

BT&O team members Gabrielle Eichenblatt and Erin Henn present to conference participants.

Yang Shi

SENIOR DIRECTOR, BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY & OPERATIONS

Support Center | Agoura Hills, CA

Yang joined NVA in 2016 and currently serves as our community’s Senior Director of Business Technology & Operations. Prior to joining NVA, Yang worked in strategy, product management, and engineering roles at McKinsey & Company, DIRECTV, and SanDisk. He earned his MBA at INSEAD France, and his MS and BS electrical engineering degrees at Stanford University. His dog Penny (Penelope Takada Shi) joined Yang and Yuka 2+ years ago and has been an endless source of personal and professional joy and inspiration.

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