Meet The Innovators: Laura Garrison

Meet Laura Garrison, Director of Product Strategy in Octo’s Health Business Unit who supports the Veterans Affairs Digital Transformation Center (DTC). Laura has been with Octo for 1.5 years by way of Octo’s B3 Group acquisition. She previously worked in the DoD focused on Simulation, DevSecOps and Platform Management. We caught up with Laura to get her take on innovation in this next installment of Meet the Innovators.

Laura, welcome to Meet the Innovators. Thank you for taking time to meet with us today. Let’s dive right in. How would you describe your work at Octo overall and what does your typical day look like?  

The work that we do is rewarding and the customer’s mission is clear, “… to collaborate with our business partners to create the best experience for all Veterans.”

After receiving some solid advice from my mentor, I now build focus blocks into my calendar. Here is what a typical day looks like by colored category:

That’s an awesome approach to tackling your day. What is one project or work challenge you have taken on, and how are you approaching/overcoming it?   

I am interested in how we can further support the patient experience. As a technologist, I have always thrived in the delivery of software. The direct customer’s requirements are satisfied but what about their customer, the patient? How can we ensure our solutions stand the test of time and continue to provide an optimal experience for the patient’s dynamic needs?

I am currently reading the book, 99 Lessons Learned from Disney to Improve the Patient Experience by Jake Poore. I highly recommend it if you are interested in getting into the patient mindset.

What a great suggestion. Tell us, when you think of the word “innovation” in terms of your work, what comes to mind, and how are you helping the customer “jump the technology curve,” as we say at Octo? 

When I reflect on the word “innovation,” being uncomfortable and failing fast come to mind. I have been a member of several high performing teams and I believe to truly jump to that next level all teammates must be OK with pivoting gracefully in the pursuit of the best outcome, product, and experience for the customer.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in your position?  

Be BOLD. If an idea doesn’t take off, iterate!

And lastly, is there anything else you would like to add?   

I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with the VA. In the late 80’s, the VA offered my parents roles in the contiguous U.S. and relocated our family from Puerto Rico. My parents had a fulfilling career as healthcare professionals, directly caring for veterans. Because of VA’s commitment, not only to veterans but to its employees, my sister and I had access to the best education. I am grateful to utilize my skills in support of VA.

Are you an innovator at heart? Whether you support business or technology development, Octo has positions for professionals dedicated to helping federal customers meet important missions. Learn more by exploring our Careers page. Veteran? Start your search here.