The successful innovation agenda

Jim Carroll had a very intriguing post at World Health Care Blog last week on health care innovation.  The post is a keynote at a conference in 2020.  His reflections provide insight to the ten biggest changes in health care since 2008.  The changes are drastic.  They’re innovative.  They’re also exactly where we need to go.

Coming back to the present, the changes Carroll writes of can form a very interesting innovation agenda:

  1. Move to a system of preventative care.
  2. Enable virtual care through bio-connectivity.
  3. Embrace Health 2.0.
  4. Improve the management of change within the health care organization.
  5. Provide service in the health care environment.
  6. Connect every device.
  7. Utilize the cloud and its power.
  8. Deliver medical knowledge to providers as needed.
  9. Ensure the system can handle ever-increasing scientific velocity.
  10. Build optimism, always optimism.

Does your organization have an innovation agenda?  Has your organization made innovation a foundational pillar for future success?  Does your organization’s definition of innovation include more than buying the latest and greatest technology?

A faltering economy makes now a wow time to get started.  After all, the pressure is on to get the ship in order.  It’s not just a time to drastically cut costs, it’s also a time to find opportunity.

Daniel Roth at Wired writes:

With the world’s economies apparently snowballing into a deep recession, it feels uncomfortably Pollyannish to see signs of hope. But for the bravest inventors and entrepreneurs, conditions are ideal to pounce on a business opportunity. In periods of economic turmoil, people are hungry and work cheap, and entrenched companies often concentrate on in-house cost-cutting instead of exploring new markets, which can explode with the next turn of the business cycle.

Here is why:

This doesn’t mean that big new ideas emerge because of turmoil—in fact, the data shows no relationship between major breakthroughs and economic conditions. But the benefit of a global money drought is that competition tends to vaporize (ed: in hospitals, vaporize should read contract). And for some, the stress of tough times has an amazing way of concentrating the mind on the way forward.

But the opportunity-seeking organization can’t enter the innovation game willy-nilly.  It must be a concerted effort with defined measures of success.  Measuring innovation can be difficult.  As PSFK recently highlighted, the Boston Consulting Group has published a report seeking to answer the question, “(H)ow effective is the push to innovate when there are no real measures of its rewards?”

From BCG:

Companies undermeasure, measure the wrong things, or, in some cases, don’t measure at all, because they are under the mistaken impression that innovation is somehow different from other business processes and can’t or shouldn’t be measured. The potential cost of this error – in terms of poorly allocated resources, squandered opportunities, and bad decision making generally – is substantial.

BCG recommends implementing an “innovation-to-cash” process to ensure success (read about it here, pdf).

The key, as with other initiatives, is accountability.  BGG:

Make innovation a central concern to your top people by tying a substantial part of their compensation to it. Don’t pretend that people will make innovations, by definition a long-term pursuit, a priority when virtually all of their pay is tied to meeting either next quarter’s numbers or some vague and far-off target they can barely influence.

It’s an innovator’s market.  Approach it deliberately.  Do so intelligently.

One thought on “The successful innovation agenda

  1. I really like this post, nice to see the simple list, and the more depth.

    I was just thinking about how do hospitals encourage the organization to be innovative? I have seen some great innovations be driving out of an organization by a few people, usually senior admin. I’m not sure that is really an innovative culture, or just an innovative leader in the culture.

    How do we get front line staff innovating in the hospital? I think the 80/20 model for nurses, and other shared time jobs do it best. Give staff time to do work, and time to think.

    Again great list.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s