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Good idea hunting for pharmacists, Part 2

Last time we met, we began to look at where we can find ideas.

We are going to continue that thought today.

When I sit down to write this blog, it not uncommon for me to identify experiences I had at various conferences to use as inspiration for my writing. I realize now that we really shouldn’t be surprised about that. After all, a conference is not a natural place where we find ourselves, so when we get there, we absorb and process things differently.

I must admit, the first several conferences that I attended, I was looking for the giveaways. In the early days of my career, there were all sorts of goodies from the manufacturers that I would look to acquire.

When I was in pharmacy school, we had a mini “conference” of sorts. It was called a drug fair and we had many pharma companies come in to promote their products and educate us on the advantages of each. But there was a group of students, and I was probably one of them, who evaluated the product based on the promotional items being given away. I seem to recall one classmate landing an umbrella while another picked up a clock. There were all sorts of exciting things being given away in those days. And I must admit that mentality still impacted me for the first few conferences I would ever attend. 

But then, something changed. I began to realize that the most valuable things I could take away from a conference were ideas and connections. Sometimes the ideas would come from a speaker or presenter, but sometimes they would come from conversations with colleagues. Sometimes ideas could be found in fragments of overheard conversations. Sometimes that random idea would strike on the walk to an elevator. You just would never know.

And then there were the connections. The opportunity to meet people doing things that had never crossed your mind. The people with experience and perspectives that can equip and empower you to solve more problems and help more people.

I do not know what opportunities exist for you to attend conferences locally. I understand there is hardship and time and cost associated with travel. Yet I also know there is tremendous value associated with just a single good idea. 

A couple weeks ago, I referenced pharmacist John Pemberton and how he created Coca-Cola. That was merely the beginning of the story. The story continues and explodes when Asa Griggs Candler enters the picture and founds the Coca-Cola Company. Candler would take the product worldwide. He upsized the idea.

You can do the same things. Perhaps your ideas will be upsized or perhaps you will upsize someone else’s ideas. Either can happen, but you must be exposed to the idea for it to happen.

This is admittedly a shameless promotion: Pharmacy U Toronto returned live just a few weeks ago and to many rave reviews. Let me encourage you to get the next Pharmacy U conference on your calendar today. If Pharmacy U is not practical for you at this time, make a list of upcoming conferences you would like to attend – virtual or in person. It might just be the place where you will find your next great idea.

Until next time –

Jesse McCullough, PharmD

Connect with Jesse on LinkedIn




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