I was happy to see Fast Company’s January issue dedicated to the art of dialogue. It was relevant for me as I returned from providing assistance in implementing the K4Health/Nigeria Web-Based Continuing Professional Development (CPD) project for medical laboratory scientists in Abuja, Nigeria.
A laboratory technician tests blood samples at a laboratory in Abuja, Nigeria.
© 2012 David Davies-Deis, Courtesy of Photoshare
The issue explored the ways in which dialogue can foster progress and develop ideas. While one article focused on communicating virtually by Skype, editor Robert Safian wrote of the importance of face-to-face dialogue:
There is simply no better way to test your assumptions than in conversation with a peer--no better way to learn, to experiment, to be prodded.
While a major deliverable of our project is eLearning courses accredited for CPD credits which leverage online technology for disseminating information, it’s the face-to-face meetings that make the implementation and management of this technology and the online courses possible.
In-person meetings with the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) and the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) focused on lessons learned in the project’s first year: gaps in operational guidance, bottlenecks in the accreditation process, and mechanisms for solving future issues. This cycle of planning, implementation, and reflection closely mirror the continuous quality improvement cycle of Plan, Do, Study, and Act.