I went to grad school to learn the most from the best. And at SMU’s Cox School of Business, I wasn’t disappointed.
With classes on accounting, finance, marketing, operational management, and more, I learned not only the time-tested essentials of business from the past but also the newest trends and innovations for the future. I learned the most complicated aspects of business and also that, at its heart, business is about offering a service or product that meets a customer’s need. That’s business in a nutshell.
A meaningful collision defined
Early in the program, however, Tom Perkowski, Assistant Dean at Cox, spoke to us about what he referred to as a “meaningful collision” – one of those seemingly happenstance meetings we have with people around us not that infrequently that we think is random but, if utilized correctly, can end up significantly benefitting both parties.
Perkowski noted that the secret to these occurrences is not in the typical networking model of “how can I maximize the encounter for my good on my terms,” but rather, how we can both add value to the others’ dream. How we both win. It was a concept I found thoughtful and interesting but one I didn’t truly grasp or understand its pertinence to business.
A meaningful collision is born
One day in class, I struck up a conversation with a fellow student, Dr. Aaron Lloyd, a successful pain management physician, who was going to school to, as he said, “fix” his business. He couldn’t figure out why he was working more and more hours but taking home less and less income.
Interestingly, the more we discussed our passions and goals, the more we found we had in common. My past work experience had been as a Chief Product and Strategy Officer in the travel industry, long known for its efficiency in scheduling. Aaron, coming from the healthcare industry, also knew the challenges and importance of effective and efficient scheduling.
A meaningful collision evolves
After more discussion, we realized there was something more to our random meeting than I had anticipated and we started discussing the possibility of working with each other. At Cox, as part of the graduate school dissertation process, each student is required to write a business plan. This was a way for Aaron and me to pursue our professional passions, envision a way to help patients get quality and timely care, and, of course, graduate.
After graduation, and about a year of study and research later, we turned our business plan into a business as we developed Opargo, LLC, a software solution to scheduling issues that would take healthcare providers’ data and optimize it. After showing it to several offices and proving its efficiency, we were well on our way to fulfilling our company dreams.
For Aaron and me, we used a meaningful collision to create a healthcare scheduling optimization engine – and accompanying company – that’s making a significant difference in the practices of our clients and ensuring people receive efficient and effective health care. If you keep your eyes open and seize the opportunities that face you every day, you can make the best use of meaningful collisions for yourself as well.
When’s the last time you took advantage of a meaningful collision?
Posted in: Start-up