Our recently published list of the Most Influential People in Healthcare Design 2012 has undergone some changes since the last time you all read it — some behind the scenes and some in public.

It was our initial hope — and perhaps this was a bit naive on our part — that the voting would go beyond a mere popularity contest, or worse, a marketing exercise, and truly call attention to the real pioneers in the field. The process was relatively straightforward: We accepted nominations from the general public via our website, and a short list was compiled based on the presented names. This short list was in turn presented to our Editorial Advisory Board, our publishing partners at The Center for Health Design, and our editorial team for final voting.

In prior years, we only asked for and published the most basic information on the nominees—name, title, organization. Readers would have no idea why these people were influential, nor would there be any compelling criteria outlined to the public as to who should be nominated or why. In short, we decided that our system needed an overhaul.

The voting body that chooses the list has remained the same, but the nomination form was made much more robust. We asked for reasons why the nominees were being presented, as well as evidence of recent projects that would show why the nominees were influential to today’s industry and not merely named out of respect or reputation. We did away with the default number of 25 and decided to merely let the final voters pick those they felt were actually worthy, rather than asking them to adhere to a dictated quota.

Of course, and we'll be further tweaking the process in upcoming polls with the aim of improving the results and keeping the list fresh, but I am quite pleased with the process — and the results — behind this year's list.

This has all gotten me to think of who influences my day-to-day work, and I am wondering if some of you would like to share those more personal stories with us. While most of us can agree that the published list is certainly full of people with a capital "I" Influence, there are likely people who influence and inspire you in your everyday work on a level much closer to home. I invite you to send me an email or better yet, post below with some of these stories. I look forward to hearing some tales from the front lines of the healthcare design industry.