Management: Speak to Me
By Matt Eyring, Steve Wunker
In almost any segment of the healthcare industry, organizations have a critical need to change. A turbulent economy, non-traditional competitors, new technologies, and potential regulatory reform are tearing up old recipes for success. To create new winning formulas, healthcare executives need to quicken their pace of creating and implementing innovative ideas.
This is challenging. Many industries based on innovation, from mobile phones to automobiles, find it hard to shorten their time frames for finding and commercializing new concepts. They also struggle with improving the proportion of ideas that generate significant success in the market. This is even more difficult in the complex and regulated world of healthcare.
Yet a handful of healthcare firms have repeatedly succeeded. These companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Ascension Health, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, have adopted principles from leading venture capitalists to create a robust innovation pipeline. How do they do it?
"If you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail." It is very tempting to start the hunt for innovative ideas by defining your current business and then asking how it could be better run. This approach is likely to keep discussions in comfortable, well-understood territory.
But truly innovative ideas are seldom incremental improvements on existing systems. Rather, successful innovators start with a deep understanding of the circumstances in which customers find themselves and work backward to create solutions for customers to get their critical jobs done in those situations.