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Thought Leadership - Inspiring Bolder Questions and New Perspectives On Innovation

At the Dr.U Hair and Skin Clinic, I create articles which tell the story of Dr.U's paradigms and developments within the broader context of bigger thought leadership ideas.

The overall intent is to inspire readers towards higher forms of thinking beyond the comfort zone of what they are currently used to in order to be able to create innovation that impacts lives.

Why does this even matter? Throughout the world wide web, there is no shortage of content. However, to succeed in SEO and to develop distinction as a brand, it is essential for companies to establish themselves as thought leaders within their field.

According to the insights of SEO firm, First Page Sage,

Content marketing, like thought leadership, is well-written and informative. It might be high-quality from a technical standpoint, but not especially mind-changing. Although competently-written articles might have been enough to boost website traffic and sales in the past, Google’s ever-evolving algorithms and consumers’ changing tastes have since forced content marketing to hand its crown over to a new king, thought leadership

Here are five examples of thought leadership content I created around these concept

First Principles Thinking and Innovation That Matters

I had serendipitously came across the term, first principles thinking through my online searches. It was only then that I realized there was an actual label for a thinking processes that I was familiar with, which was also evident through Dr.U's innovations and the outside-the-box approaches to the procedures he offered.

First Principles Thinking was practiced by the likes of Aristotle and Einstein. In modern times, perhaps the most well-known individual who uses this thinking process is Elon Musk. Jeff Bezos is another example. Because of these names, most people place first principles thinking on a pedestal as something that is used only by geniuses. But really, the essence of it has to do with the love and reverence of absolute truth.

Many of us have learned to operate on the basis of accept the face value of information and facts as being true, without further investigation, or bothering to study their validity within the context of real life situations. We become confident in the information provided by others without asking further questions.

On the other hand, First Principles Thinking has to do with studying and observing real life contexts and their unique variables. The information provided by others is irrelevant until we, ourselves come to understand the truth of the situation and what truthfully will work or won't work. There is really no such thing as a one-size-fits all formula for arriving at the solutions and answers we ultimately want. We have to perform our own analysis and come to our own conclusions, especially when it comes to the process of innovating.

First principles thinking was how Dr.U developed his patented hair transplant system, the Dr.UGraft Revolution. Whereas other hair transplant punch technologies are only suitable for the safe removal of head hair donor grafts, Dr.U's technology is capable of harvesting other types of hair throughout the body, meeting the needs of individuals with more difficult objectives. With this system, they are able to benefit from expanded graft counts and more realistic hair types required by specific areas.

Here is a post I wrote on First Principles Thinking for Dr.U's main site, entitled, Conquering Hair Transplant Problems and More Through First Principles Thinking

The Psychology of Choice in Product and Service Co-Creation for Consumers

The ability to harvest any type of hair allows Dr.U to give his patients choices about the results they want for themselves. For example, in the case of eyelash transplantation or eyebrow restoration, other doctors only offer the use of scalp hair. However, the disadvantage is that it is much thicker than the type of hair naturally found in the lashes or eyebrows. Some patients may be ok with this hair type. Others may want thinner hair or some other choice of their preference.

The ability to be given a choice and co-create a particular result matters more to consumers than one might assume. This can be explained through a discipline known as the Psychology of Choice.

I wrote an article on behalf of Dr.U which tells the story of how he is able to offer his patients choices for their preferred hair type, whereas other clinics do not. I then further expanded on the power of giving customers choices within the broader scope of B2C businesses.

Businesses are now being encouraged to develop their offerings along these lines, allowing customers to "create and personify" who they are as individuals. In doing so, this gives them the ability to meet untapped demand by enabling deep hard-wired emotional needs to be met through self expression and individualization.

The Power of Direct Observation

Unlike other hair transplant doctors, Dr.U is able to tell which patients will reach severe baldness and require the use of body hair extracts at some point. He is also able to know if nape hair will survive long-term in a particular individual and when head hair alone is enough for their coverage needs.

So how is he able to get these answers, when other doctors have not been able to? The answer lies in direct observation. Within the field of hair transplantation, surgeons have been taught that there is a fixed region known as the Safe Donor Area (SDA), from which they can derive permanent, non-miniaturized hair follicles which are unaffected by a chemical in the body called DHT. This region has long been believed to be crescent shaped and defined by anatomical landmarks.

By directly observing hair densities on the shaved heads of patients, Dr.U has found that the SDA region is not fixed, but dynamic, differing considerably across individuals. Through his FUE Shave Test, published in the premier Aesthetic Surgery Journal, he can find reliable answers that he needs for specific patients and know exactly how to proceed with their long-term hair transplant goals.

The real moral of this story is to always ask your own questions and observe actual situations for yourself. We assume that what we are taught in school and textbooks holds the ultimate truth. But there are many instances when they are only applicable for certain situations and not others. Life and nature are filled with a wide range of variance. And we have to be the ones to look at the uniqueness of every situation to find truthful and relevant answers for ourselves.

Challenging the Status Quo By Asking Good Questions

Here is another example experienced by Dr.U within the field of hair transplantation where conventionally taught information has not been found to be accurate for patient results.

Surgeons are taught that the main cause of graft transection (i.e. damaged grafts due to surgical punch instruments) has to do with the curvature of the hair. Doctors can only guess at the location of the hair follicle by using a cylindrical shaped punch to follow the direction of the visible hair above the skin. This is sufficient for straight-haired patients. But in individuals with curly hair, the shaft often continues to curl below the skin. Using a punch in the same straight path will slice through the follicle. Or so, it has been thought.

Dr.U who works with patients from all ethnic groups, noticed an interesting phenomena. Some individuals with more tightly curled hair will have lower transection rates than others with less hair curliness. He found that this could be explained by a completely overlooked variable. The group with the straighter, wavy hair had thicker skin, compared to the patients with the tighter curl. This affects how the punch engages with the skin to safely remove the grafts.

Dr.U developed his Dr.UGraft technology with the ability to adjust the speed and torque of the punch, giving surgeons the power to adjust the performance of the device, based on the patient's skin thickness. The effectiveness of this result is evident in the final transection rates, of zero to extremely minimal rates of damage.

The takeaway for readers is to always question the information being presented. We have to ask ourselves, what is the supportive evidence behind a purported truth and whether or not all the dots connect in a way that can actually lead to better results. We have to "value the questions that naturally arise in our own minds and seek out their answers."

Here is the article I wrote on this overall theme, entitled, "Developing World-Class Innovation By Asking Good Questions and Challenging the Status Quo."

Combining Constructive Thought and Empathy for Better Products and Services

Empathy is often regarded as a nice-to-have soft skill. But it is more significant than what most of us might initially suppose. Psychologists are now finding that empathy may contribute to greater cognitive flexibility for better creativity and problem solving outcomes.

Kelly Herd of the University of Connecticut led an eye-opening study on this topic. Her researchers asked their subjects, the question of what type of potato chip they would create and what would they call it, if the product could only be sold to pregnant women.

The subjects were divided into two groups. One was asked to use empathy to imagine the lives of the consumers and how they would feel. The other was simply asked to answer the assigned questions. As it turned out, the group who used empathy was able to come up with better and more creative insights.

According to Herd, "We have shown that empathy can change the way in which you appears that subtle things such as imagining how someone else would feel can have a huge impact on creativity in general."

How Empathy Led to the Development of Better Surgery Methods to Help Men Become Truly Free of Acne Keloidalis Nuchae

Dr.U's use of empathy, combined with constructive thinking is illustrated through his development of new and improved surgical techniques for removing a benign skin condition known as Acne Keloidalis Nuchae. It usually affects males of color, following a close shave on the back of the head. Small bumps start to appear which grow bigger over time until they fuse together. Dr.U's empathetic perspective led to new surgical techniques, helping to improve the final outcome and alleviate the self-consciousness and anxiety experienced by patients.

Any doctor can simply remove the area through surgical excision. However, the remaining issue is the final appearance on the back of the head. Some doctors will leave the wound open so that new tissue fills in the empty area (secondary intention healing). However the result is still unsightly and visible to onlookers. Suturing the edges of an elliptical shaped wound may result in an obvious curved scar line.

Yes, the bump are gone. But these types of approaches do not solve the emotional and psychological scarring that occurs with AKN. Even though the condition is not dangerous, patients feel incredibly self-conscious about the back of their head. They will refuse to get real haircuts at the barbershop because of the embarrassment. And they often shy away from social interactions, even becoming reclusive.

Dr.U decided that it is not enough to just remove the AKN bump(s). Instead, he developed innovative forms of surgery that would result in a clean horizontal linear scar, either covered by the patient's own hair growth, or discretely aligned with the posterior hairline. With these types of outcomes, patients can feel free to live normal lives again, without the constant dreaded worry of what others are thinking when they see the back of their head.

Whether we are speaking of a new line of potato chips, Frappucino Happy Hour at Starbucks new advancements in dermatology and countless other situations in life, focusing on how others feel helps to expand our thought processes so through alternate and diverse perspectives.

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