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Farrugia said leaders need to foster the right culture to yield and nurture innovative ideas. “Build a fear-free environment and a diverse team, and then the final thing is to have a balance — not just a diverse portfolio, but a balanced portfolio.” She explained that the portfolio of innovative projects needs to be balanced between short-term gains and long-term gains.
“If we only go after long term, we’re out of business,” Farrugia said. “So, we have to really look at what percent of short-term innovations we are going to focus on mid term, long term, and make those decisions. Sometimes, those are really tough decisions to make.”
Bunch said that innovation is becoming more central to healthcare, and organizations can learn by innovating from the inside out. “Healthcare has to continue to evolve. There’s no doubt that how it looks today is not how it’s going to look ten years from now, or five years from now.” He added that his organization developed AI digitization capabilities by looking at how the call center was processing data and how they could invest there to innovate. “When that started to add value, then we pushed it out,” he said. “We had to start internally, and we learned that way… Make sure it’s core and be committed.”
“Medicine’s going through the biggest transformation it’s ever gone through, in its care delivery — in a good way,” Brown said. He said systems are bringing physicians, caregivers, nurses, nurse practitioners and others on the care team together around the goal of quality care. This team needs to create and support innovative ideas together. “You’re part of a care delivery team, and you need to accept that.”
As leaders think about fostering cultures that create new innovations, they also need to foster cultures that accept and use innovations — to drive long-term change and returns.
How do you make innovation endure?
Sometimes, even effective innovations can struggle to gain, or maintain, widespread acceptance. For instance, the pandemic gave rise to many innovations which might still be effective post-pandemic, but which might fall out of fashion as people return to old patterns. Tyler asked the panel how to make healthcare innovations endure — or “stick” — over time.