“Some of my best ideas come when I’m spending time with my family. It puts everything in perspective. There are those moments when your head meets your heart, and everything coalesces.”Charles Martin III, MD
I don’t see innovation as something static. To me, it’s a verb. It’s a dynamic process that revolves around a willingness to see the world in a different way through a different lens, as well as through the eyes of others.
One of my favorite books is The Medici Effect by Frans Johansson. It talks about how magical things happen when multiple people from multiple specialties who are thinking about things in different ways come together.
Innovation requires a degree of humility. You have to be open to the possibility of failure. But failure creates value. It can inform your understanding of limitations and how to proceed.
Some of my best ideas come when I’m spending time with my family. It puts everything in perspective. There are those moments when your head meets your heart, and everything coalesces.
My colleagues and I were preparing a telecollaboration between Cleveland Clinic teams in Cleveland and in Florida for a procedure involving augmented reality. Once we felt that we had the process figured out technically, we needed a dry run before going live with our experiment. While spending time with my family, I realized that we could try the equipment with them. I ran to the store and brought home a little Lego set. I set my daughter at our table with the Legos, took away the instruction booklet and gave it to my son, who was in a separate part of the house. While she was downstairs wearing the augmented-reality headset, he was upstairs with our app on a phone, relaying her instructions for building the Lego set. And we were able to get the remote collaboration to work! I was able to bring those insights back to my colleagues, and we figured out how to apply them clinically.
My kids tease me because I always walk around with a bunch of paper in my pocket. It’s kind of unsightly, covered with scribbled ideas. I get my ideas down quickly, then I’ll run them past friends who can help me figure out if something is worth pursuing. Bringing other people into the conversation is so important. Innovation is never just about “me.” It’s always about “us.”
Charles Martin III, MD, is a Cleveland Clinic interventional radiologist. He subspecializes in interventional oncology, minimally invasive/percutaneous cancer therapies, hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, pulmonary arteriovenous malformation embolizations and embolotherapy. Beyond his clinical experience, Dr. Martin is actively engaged in research, and has led or served as co-investigator on multiple clinical studies. He is passionate about innovating new devices for interventional radiology and investigating technologies capable of better engaging patients or developing more effective and more efficient procedures.