What healthcare leaders can do to nurture innovation

Friday, July 26, 2013

To nurture innovation in healthcare, leaders must do less. This counter-intuitive advice draws on years of innovation research and the practices of the world’s most innovative organisations, the ones that get 10 times more bang for buck on their innovation activities than the rest.

Innovation is more than a shiny gadget or an elegant new pathway. It is the organisation’s process of identifying, developing and successfully exploiting new ideas, which is deceptively complex. I’ve worked with only 19 health providers and commissioners so far, yet I consistently see the same challenges which, if addressed, would lead to phenomenal leaps in innovation outcomes. Here are five top tips for leaders of health and care organisations:

Kill half your projects. A lack of clear focus leads ambitious people to try and do too much. Write an innovation plan to assert which quality, prevention, productivity and revenue objectives you wish to achieve, and then kill the projects that don’t fit. It’s likely that 20 to 50% will be stopped or paused, liberating resources and allowing you to fund the projects that align with your plan properly. This focus also helps to create a call to arms for your people and networks – a common goal around which they can all work.

Source: The Guardian (link opens in a new window)

Education, Health Care