Can Imitation Be More Beneficial than Innovation? The Answer May Surprise You

Innovation is the engine of change. And, as a recent Harvard Business Review post noted, “Health care is infatuated with innovation.” After all, innovation is how we’ve evolved as a society.

But what about imitation? Can our industry benefit from that?

The HBR post, titled “Health Care Needs Less Innovation and More Imitation” goes on to note that some health systems are emulating an approach adapted by Cisco Systems. Cisco doesn’t just invest in its own research; the company also teams up with partners that have promising products.

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What Healthcare Executives Can Learn from P&G

Procter & Gamble (P&G), the world’s largest consumer-products company that aggressively expanded for years, recently announced that it will sell more than half of its brands.

Are you asking what this has to do with healthcare? Well, a lot actually.

Just like many of today’s health systems, P&G is in a very competitive and changing market. While it was successful under its former strategy for many, many years, leadership realized that the best way to continue to lead the market was to become more nimble. As Lindsey Dunn quoted in a recent Becker’s Hospital Review blog post, the idea is to “create a faster growing, more profitable company that’s far simpler to operate.”

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Thoughts from the recent IDN Summit in Phoenix

I just returned from the Fall 2011 IDN Summit in Phoenix and I came away feeling pleasantly (hopefully not delusionally!) optimistic about where healthcare is headed.  Why?  I think that the industry is showing one of the most positive signs of human nature, that at a certain point people simply reject negativism.  In fact, studies have shown that one of the causes of the business cycle – in this case the upswing portion – comes from people’s collective unwillingness to indefinitely dwell in the doldrums.  The result — a challenge, once feared, becomes something to overcome. It sure felt that way in Phoenix!

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