Jason Ethridge on People-Centered, Disruptive Tech in Health Care
Without people, a visionary cannot build new tech that disrupts an industry for the better. While it might seem obvious, there are nuances to navigating such intentions effectively. In this week's Co-Creators in Conversation interview, we talk with Jason Ethridge, VP of Tech Ops and Product Development at Modernizing Medicine, a tech company founded on a vision of improving the quality of doctor-patient conversations (yes, please).
Jason explains, "being able to quickly solve problems for physicians, to create better conversations with customers, and quickly evolve and allow us to grow at a rate knowing that we're gonna have a winning solution...allowing us to grow at a rate that just won't stop."
In his 10 years with the company, Jason has led teams through rapid growth (and a global pandemic) while staying people-centric. Modernizing Medicine has always had an intentional culture that centered around working in an office together.
Jason reflects, "We have a very phenomenal culture here at Modernizing Medicine. And I think that as we grew, we always made a very conscious decision to keep that culture alive, right. Which felt hard with when you start thinking remote."
As company growth exploded, they started getting more remote workers. Jason shares how they managed to maintain a meaningful culture through growth and other changes. As everyone went remote (ya know, COVID), the leadership team continually explored ways to keep people engaged and he shares some of their creative tactics in this conversation.
Modernizing Medicine was one of the first SaaS-based solutions (think in the virtual cloud) in health care. While it's gratifying to be first, it isn't easy. In the beginning, they had to deal with skepticism of cloud-based solutions. After they got over that hump, the next challenge was managing rapid growth while staying true to their values.
The company was founded on the idea that building, iterating and responding quickly, gave them a competitive advantage over other providers. When their rapid response became a source of risk, instead of slowing down the pace of new releases, they sped up. While everyone agreed they needed to mitigate risk, not everyone was on board with the plan to release weekly instead of every two weeks.
Jason explains, "we've always been quick to respond and quick to iterate and turn around...features, fixes, code...as we got bigger...one of the problems that we were...every two weeks, we were releasing code...the code was getting bigger in those releases, which adds variables adds risk...so we actually moved the releases up to every week...that was met with...a little bit more resistance."
Jason shares how he guided the team through resistance by having meaningful conversations. He then goes on to explain how they navigate providing innovative solutions without completely disrupting their users day-to-day work (ya know that frustrating feeling when your phone downloads a new operating system and it doesn't work as you expect it to when you need it - yeah, they're avoiding that kinda scenario).
This interview is full of practical insights for leaders in tech and those committed to building high-performing, people-centric teams regardless of their industry.
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