Joe Pine, Shareef Mahdavi, Jim Gilmore - thinkAbout 2011

There are not many consultants in healthcare today who find inspiration for their clients from a food truck.  Meet Shareef Mahdavi.  He is the winner of the Experience Economy EMA Award for 2011.  This is an honor given each year to a single individual to recognize his or her accomplishment in creating new-to-the-world experience offerings and approaches. It was presented to Shareef by Joe Pine and Jim Gilmore last week at the close of their annual thinkAbout in Del Mar, CA.

Strategic Horizon's EMA Award

Past EMA winners have included Jeff Kallay of TargetX for redesigning the on-campus college recruiting tour experience; Doug Johnson, General Growth Properties, for inventing the Santastic Christmas experiences at General Growth Properties malls; and Mark Greiner, Workspring, for his vision in creating a B2B collaborative workspace that is worthy of being called an experience.

Shareef is on a mission to change the patient experience in medical practices. One small piece of this is the elimination of the Waiting Room.  To Shareef, this common piece of real estate is symptomatic of a wide range of problems in healthcare.

In his more than two decades of work in the medical device field, Shareef has helped to launch numerous new technologies including the laser used in Lasik eye surgery.  He was one of the first ten to obtain the status of Experience Economy Certified Expert in 2006.  Since then, he has used his growing understanding of experience creation to help an entire industry re-think itself.

Most of his work has been with medical technology manufacturers and their physician customers. In the process, he has generated a following outside of healthcare with his periodic blogs that have covered the range from ordering shoes from Zappos to sampling the food trucks in Washington, D.C.  As Shareef puts it, “I go outside the field of medicine for inspiration to change it from the inside out.”  It seems to be working.

Typical Healthcare Waiting Room

The next time you are left sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, confused by a diagnosis, or unclear about a procedure, remember that there is someone out there enhancing the patient experience one waiting room at a time.

What small piece of real estate in your business needs to re-experienced?