Managing toward innovation requires an organization to practice idea parenting. The implication is that ideas are first conceived, then nurtured, then shown off to others, and finally brought carefully and lovingly to maturity. The purpose of this report is to provide the managers and leaders of Hilo Hospital with guidelines and recommendations to follow that will promote the development of innovative values and practices.
An innovative organization is always reorienting toward innovation. Four trends in innovation management are presented here as steps in the strategic planning process of Hilo Hospital. The steps include: (a) establishing cross-functional teams to breaking down silos; (b) fostering inside-out thinking by working with parallel industries, (c) tapping into social media as an authentic and valuable source of insight and ideas; and (d) war games for strategy-building. In addition, by folding the information from social media into the planning and analysis processes, this external input will bring even more fresh air to the processes of managing toward innovation.
Five recommendations were made to Hilo Hospital managers and leaders. Stay focused on the end goal and do not sacrifice optimized opportunities in order to co-opt the process and the glory. Ensure that all managers and leaders of the hospital understand they are expected to serve as coaches for innovation and catalysts for action. Utilize cross-functional teams to break down the barriers created by silos and to bring about inside-out thinking by rearranging hierarchies and teams. Utilizing the plans outlined in this report, cross-functional teams should array themselves in such a way that they can overcome the organization inertia and established powers that act as barriers or restraints to innovation, whether intentional or not. Provide ample opportunities for training to occur at each step of the strategic planning process.
Managing for Innovative Values and Practice 1
Managing for Innovative Values and Practice 3
Hilo Hospital is not an entrepreneurial think tank or a business incubator. The work that Hilo Hospital does is serious and life-changing. Yet the work of a hospital -- that is practiced to perfection -- is not immune to the need for innovation. An important distinction is made between innovation in the fabric of the workplace and innovation that is the life-blood of research and development.
This report is being distributed to managers and leader of Hilo Hospital for the express purpose of establishing a foundation for the development of a strategic plan that will weave innovation into the fabric of the hospital workplace.
Hilo Hospital has existed since the time of the missionaries and a residual of that time is present in the traditions -- and even some of the practices -- of the hospital. The mission and the values have not changed greatly since the missionaries established their agency of care for the poor and disenfranchised islanders who came to them for medical treatment. It is essential to the long-term stability of Hilo Hospital and, even more important, to the patients served by Hilo Hospital, that innovation becomes a real-time value that penetrates praxis and the structural organization that is inherent to implementation of practice.
The principles of management that theoretically have been distilled down to four essential functions: (a) planning, (b) organizing, (c) leading, and (d) controlling. Against this background, the report focuses specifically on the planning and leading functions. These two functions will be considered in the next section of the report, and they constitute the underpinning of Hilo Hospital's plan for managing toward innovation. Organizing is the function of management that requires the establishment of an organizational structure and the allocation of human resources to achieve the intended objectives. Planning is the management function that consists of setting goals and deciding how to proceed to achieve those goals. Leading is the function that permits someone to tap sources of influence that inspire others to take action. Controlling is the function that ensures results and performance does not stray far from the requisite standards.
The report will discuss current thinking about managing innovation in the workplace. Experts in innovation management believe that certain trends are, in effect, establishing new rules for managing innovation. These trends are reviewed in the main body of this report. Recommendations and directives for managers and leaders of Hilo Hospital that are specific to the trend and to the hospital environment and operations are provided adjacent to the discussion of the trends. The report concludes with a summary of the recommendations for Hilo Hospital's strategic plan for innovative practice.
Maddock Douglas is an innovation consultancy that works with clients to invent, brand, and launch new business models, products, and services. Raphael Louis Viton is the President of Maddock Douglas, and G. Michael Maddock is the CEO. In a recent article in Business Week, they described the four trends that are changing the rules for managing toward innovation (Maddock & Viton, 2009). The four trends described by Maddock and Viton that are changing the rules for managing toward innovation are as follows: (a) Silos are falling, but not necessarily in expected or anticipated ways; (b) outside-in thinking; (c) social media; and (d)war games (Maddock & Viton, 2009). The implement a process called idea parenting, which means that they take an innovative idea from mind to market. For any organization that professes an interest in innovation, this is something to emulate. Managers must be agile if they have any hope of using their skills and knowledge to imbed an innovative mindset throughout their organization. One of the most resistant barriers to agility is the presence of business-unit or practice-based silos. This is as true of hospitals as any other organization -- perhaps even a bit truer.
Silos are coming down -- in new ways. Through their structure and their paradigms, silos permit the workers within their boundaries to maximize efficiency. Standard operating procedures thrive in the restricted environment of a silo. Silos are economical -- in the short-run -- because they don't permit discovery or innovation or any other process that require the deep resources of the human mind.
Managers are taught to think of silos as structural entities that can be seen on organizational charts or attendance at meetings. But silos also exist in the mind. Hospitals are filled with highly trained people who have had to demonstrate that they know how to carry out the tasks and responsibilities they were trained to do. And this is a good thing -- a very good thing. However, synergy does not occur within silos, whether they are physical or mental. It is imperative that the hospital capitalizes on the human capital that has been so carefully compiled and so thoroughly honed into the finest of organizations.
How do we plan to address the issue of silos at Hilo Hospital? Each manager will nominate a member of his or her team who will become part of a cross-functional team. These teams will meet twice a month for the sole purpose of exploring new ways to work, developing alternative service delivery models, optimizing R&D findings, and ensuring the diffusion of innovations.
This planning function strategy will focus on refining Hilo Hospital's mission and values -- which will reflect the new focus on innovation -- strategizing ways to embed opportunities for innovation in the everyday practice of members of Hilo's teams, and the development of specific SMART goals and objectives that map out an action plan for manifesting the mission and values.
Inside-out thinking is more than thinking outside the box. Consultants at Maddock Douglas have a saying, "You can't read the label when you are sitting inside the jar." The phrase illustrates a very important principle about an organization's ability to innovate: the way that people think about new ideas is captive to the context in which they function and "distorted by…[their] own expertise" (Maddock & Viton, 2009, p. 1). Experts Maddock and Viton argue that it doesn't take longer than six months of working within an organization for this sort of creative stagnation to occur. The phenomenon has been observed in many industries and disciplines -- it is, to put it simply, very difficult to maintain creative and innovative thoughts and ideas that are too far out of the confines of what an organization considers normal or right. In fact, corporations may be as much socializing institutions as are schools.
The hazard, of course, when someone is stuck in the jar, is that competitors that are not constrained in this way -- who manage themselves (Drucker, 1999) -- will find those priceless creative and innovative ideas, and develop them into something that will allow them to take market share.
How do we plan to address the opportunity of inside-out thinking at Hilo Hospital?
Managers and leaders at Hilo Hospital will develop ways to capitalize on the knowledge that is available in parallel industries in order to find expertise outside the hospital environment. "Whatever your challenge," suggest Maddock & Viton, "there is an expert in a parallel industry willing to help you overcome it" (2009, p.…