Today’s world of innovation is a social construct. Control has been replaced by connectivity. And it’s this tremendous and profound resource that is changing business and innovation around the world.
For some it’s a lab. For others it’s a garage. Yet other might find innovation in the confines of a pharmaceutical research laboratory.
But today’s world is driving a new construct—a new dynamic that fosters and delivers innovation that is changing the world and medicine. From hackathons to bootstrapped startups, the digital health revolution is a shared experience where thinkers, innovators, doctors, patients, caregivers, engineers and relentless visionaries create an “intellectual fusion” that is driven by electronic and human connectivity. This “social workplace” has established a new normal for business innovation and is particularly relevant to digital health.
In their spectacular book, The Decoded Company, Leerom Segal, et al provide a great discussion of this principle and riff off Gary Hamel’s thinking. Hamel has created an on-line community called Management Innovation eXchange (MIX) where business leaders from around the world can share and discuss new ideas.
I’ve stolen some the key thoughts here and added some of my own and applied them all to digital health. Any venture or activity should use this as a checklist to help drive the formation of the “collaboratory” and foster this new social workplace.
The 15 Foundations of the Digital Health Social Workplace
First and foremost, the collection of voices and brains make the fodder for brilliance. Pushed together, fusion results in the heat of engagement and drives the process to surprising and unexpected outcomes.
Voices from various sources—medicine to mechanics—provide the source code to new thinking and practical applications.
There is no right or wrong, and simply put, facts are friendly. The ability to look beyond the conventional is an essential result of an open and free discussion. The ability and desire to share information is essential.
While professional, social and geographical backgrounds may be different, a shared sense of purpose helps galvanize the task and establish a common goal.
The power of the idea is supreme. Let the idea lead the process and avoid the traps of a traditional power structure.
Empower participants with the ability to “change the world.”
Support a deep-seeded purpose and drive motivation. The task at hand is less about a product and more about a “movement of change.”
Allow individuals to exercise their “own genius” without the oppressive nature of a hierarchy.
It’s a bit about structured chaos, but guiding principles are helpful to define and focus.
Let accidents happen and celebrate the unexpected.
Allow a lack of knowledge in a certain field to drive new thinking and try things that conventional wisdom says can’t happen.
Try. Try again. From “mind experiments" to simple prototypes—these techniques can drive the process forward. The freedom to fail is the template to succeed.
Along with experimentation, push the process along—cutting losses and seeking new solutions.
Good faith on a shared path to innovation and success is essential.
The digital health movement isn’t a fad or gimmick. It’s born out of a clinical and global necessity for change. Digital health must be driven by this sense of criticality and time-sensitive purpose.
Today’s world of innovation is a social construct. Control has been replaced by connectivity. And it’s this tremendous and profound resource that is changing business and innovation around the world. The laboratory is less about brick and mortar and more about what’s in your head. The connections—human and electronic—build the neuro-network that results in today’s office building, today’s laboratory, today’s manufacturing facility—today's collaboratory!
Note: I encourage you to read The Decoded Company. It’s an amazing read and examines how technology (yes, for digital health startups, too) helps act as a performance coach to eliminate blind spots and inspire awesome teams. The digital health communications company behind the story is www.Klick.com and well worth a look.
The nuviun industry network is intended to contribute to discussion and stimulate debate on important issues in global digital health. The views are solely those of the author.