In an ever changing healthcare landscape, strategy and strategy execution are more important than ever. While some changes are mandatory, there are many more opportunities that are not. With so many options, it is important to choose a direction, stick with it, and execute it well. However, that is easier said than done, which may explain why hospitals have started to hire Chief Strategy Officers to help with this task.
Your strategic direction
All organizations are different and each organizations has its preference when it comes to innovation strategy. In the management literature, four types of innovator strategies have been identified:
Because every clinician has a large degree of autonomy in their work, defining the strategic direction of a healthcare organization can be challenging. It requires among others aligning clinician-organization expectations and giving clinicians the appropriate tools to lead change, as Kornacki and Silversin have demonstrated. Otherwise, it is in the healthcare context difficult, if not impossible, to define the strategic direction.
In addtion, you will need innovation capabilities and infrastructure to make your innovation ambitions come true.
Strategy execution is equally important
Formulating your strategy direction is important, but every Chief Strategy Officer will agree that strategy execution is equally important.
Strategy execution encompasses more than innovation only. For example mergers and acquisitions also fall under strategy. However, innovation is the most important aspect. After all, it is he ability to execute innovation projects which determines how agile your organization can react to changes in its environment.
From our experience – innovation fellowships, programs, workshops -, and through our coaching endeavors, we know that it is not difficult to engage clinicians in innovation endeavors. They are smart, and eager to learn and apply new methodologies that can help them improve care. In spite of the fact that they already have tremendously busy schedules.
What has proven to be most challenging is embedding innovation efforts in a structured and sustainable matter. In a way that gives appropriate credit to these clinician innovators whether their projects are successful or have been terminated timely to safe resources for better opportunities. In other words, it is the embedding of the innovation process that is the biggest hurdle in most organizations.
Hence it are the capabilities to execute innovation projects, organizational capabilities to embed these projects and their findings into your organization, and infrastructure to support all these activities that matter. These capabilities and called dynamic capabilities. Dynamic capaiblities enable your organization to anticipate, adapt and react to the ever changing healthcare environment. These capabilities that will enable you to adapt and react in a sustainable manner.
In our survey among 121 healthcare organizations, results show that very few hospitals have the processes in place that enable clinicians to innovate effectively and efficiently. Let alone that they have the organizational capabilities or infrastructure in place to enable and encourage such engagement.
Are you interested to know where your organizations stands? You can still take this innovation management scan to identify your strength and weaknesses of your innovation processes and capabilities. This scan is developed in collaboration with the Institute for healthcare Improvement, and is designed to help among others Chief Strategy Officers enhance the execution and implementation of their strategic vision. It is a starting point to help you build or strengthen your dynamic capabilities.
Strong dynamic capabilities and excellence in strategy execution will safe you and the clinicians in your organization a lot of time, money and frustration. And most importantly, will lead to outcomes that result in better care and increased patient satisfaction.
Here is a link to the scan.
Organizing4Innovation is proud to be the first to offer an innovation management approach dedicated exclusively to the professional services. For more information see www.organizing4innovation.com