In their article for Fast Company, Benjamin and Komlos write “Humans can master highly sophisticated technical and technological challenges because we’re very skilled at making linear connections from one technical feat to the next. But when it comes to multi-dimensional challenges, it’s a whole different ball game.”
Multidimensional challenges are ubiquitous and inescapable in our modern lives.
These complex challenges may be micro (like the diagnosis and treatment of a patient’s indeterminate health issue) or macro (like developing strategies to manage or prevent further climate change globally).
Though one is experienced at a personal level, the other affecting humankind, we know that both of these examples are alike in that - in the words of Benjamin and Komlos - “we can’t solve them with linear thinking or rely on technical prowess. Sometimes, they move and change at a rate faster than we can act. They don’t patiently await solutions. They are complex problems–which is a whole different ball game than merely complicated issues”.
With multidimensional challenges so pervasive in our modern lives, how do we begin to tackle them? Has our human problem solving evolved to accommodate for new complexities? How can we use tools to for creative thinking and ideation in order to determine viable, considered solutions?
In an age of information, stimulation and busyness, problems can be overlooked, and our judgment clouded by unreliable sources or cognitive bias. Whether a challenge is micro or macro, personal or professional, we must practice empathy, critical thinking and challenge assumptions to find solutions.
As written by Tony Schwartz in his article What It Takes to Think Deeply About Complex Problems, “simple answers make us feel safer, especially in disruptive and tumultuous times. But rather than certainty, modern leaders need to consciously cultivate the capacity to see more — to deepen, widen, and lengthen their perspectives.”
We designed myhaven as a mindful, uninterrupted multimedia platform to support knowledge management, continuous learning and deep thinking — a secure space to store and expand upon data, insights and knowledge over time. A space that allows for authentic critical and creative thinking to occur.
To illustrate how myhaven can be used to support the critical thinking and problem solving required for our modern day challenges, we’re exploring the allied health practice of naturopathy as an example.
For anyone who is yet to see a naturopath themselves, naturopathy is defined by ANTA as “a holistic approach to wellness based on the principle that the body has the inherent ability to heal itself. Using the healing power of nature and gentle therapeutic techniques, the body, mind and emotions are supported during the healing process. Naturopathic principles are based on treating each person as an individual and treating the whole person, not just the affected area.”
We highlight ‘treating the whole person’ because that is exactly where naturopathy becomes complex. A patient may visit a naturopath after they’ve exhausted leads with more conventional, Western medicine, looking for someone to understand the subtleties and complex interplay between their physiology, diet and lifestyle.
As naturopath Chelsea Costa writes in an article for Endeavour, “once you take on a new patient, it becomes your mission to get to the root cause of their health issue. In some cases, this can be an easy process and in other more complex cases, more time and investigations are required to find the answers.”
A GP or specialist may have undertaken comprehensive tests with no definitive outcome. Following this, a naturopath may undertake a thorough and holistic analysis of lifestyle, diet, self-care, and mental health to identify the root cause of an issue and solutions that may have been overlooked through conventional means.
Naturopaths undertake a significant amount of administrative work to stay up to speed with client history before every session. This requires methodical documentation after each consultation.
When using myhaven, a room can be created for each new client to archive session notes, advice given, test results, relevant resources (like journal articles and other medical publications), and other correspondence with the client.
Prior to a session, it’s a simple matter of locating the client’s room in myhaven and accessing the content within it. This is more efficient than searching through files saved in cloud-based applications, desktops or practitioner booking systems. It also eliminates the risk of losing critical client information as everything is stored securely in one place.
As myhaven is also 100% secure no information is ever sold or made accessible to third parties.
As we saw in Chelsea’s quote above, much of a naturopath’s value comes from their thorough, investigative journey to establish the root cause of an issue that may have otherwise been overlooked through conventional streams of medicine.
It is critical thinking, creative thinking and problem solving in action.
We know from our previous article Thriving away from distractions, that a physical and digital space free from distractions is needed to tap into deep thinking and to produce valuable, impactful outcomes. A naturopath must delve deep into all facets of a patient’s physiology, consumption habits and lifestyle.
In this instance a myhaven room can contain a comprehensive archive of client history and data in a secure, calm and uninterrupted space — allowing a naturopath to ‘deepen, widen, and lengthen’ this important thinking and decision making process without distraction.
It also provides a place to streamline all research and professional development to create an information archive that can be tapped into for any given client scenario. There could be rooms created for every body system or topic, each filled with media including articles, diagrams, imagery and videos that collate into a complete picture of any given subject matter.
For naturopaths who wish to share their resources with clients, it’s also possible to duplicate selected files into a team room made specifically for their patient. In a team room both the naturopath and their client will be able to view and add content, collaborate, and also communicate via the chat function.
For example, a naturopath can upload patient plans, forms and other important data for new and ongoing clients. Similarly, the patient can upload test results, health diaries and other required documents into the team room, and provide progress updates via the chat function.
As myhaven is 100% secure, both the patient and practitioner can feel at ease knowing client confidentiality is maintained at all times.
We mentioned earlier how easy it is in our modern lives to have judgment clouded by unreliable sources or cognitive bias.
As a naturopath it's imperative for patient wellbeing and integrity as a practitioner, to be equipped with the most recent, reliable medical data and resources. This means a pursuit of lifelong learning and critical thinking.
To bolster this learning or to debate more complex client scenarios, naturopaths can also collaborate with colleagues through a myhaven team room.
Team rooms allow for multiple participants to collate their ideas, findings and resources in one centralised space. If one colleague finds a significant resource, they can share this with the group by simply uploading it for all to see.
Collectively they can brainstorm, collaborate, learn and expand upon their knowledge.
As Benjamin and Komlos write “solving complexity comes down to mastering co-creation in large groups.” With the nuanced nature of each client’s needs, conferring with a group of experienced colleagues in a fully secure, resource-dense setting can produce solutions to multifaceted challenges that could not be solved alone.
Are you an allied health practitioner looking for a tool to securely and efficiently store your client history and information? Do you need a better way to store and revisit the multitude of resources you consume each week? Are you looking for a better way to collaborate with colleagues?