Guest post by Andrea J. Simon, Ph.D., former marketing, branding and culture change senior vice president at Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan. She also is president and CEO of Simon Associates Management Consultants
I work with healthcare providers to help them become more innovative. Inevitably, they ask me to make it simple. So here's a cheat sheet on 10 things to consider for a more innovative hosptial culture:
1. The brain hates change. The brain is a wonderful machine that is highly effective and efficient. It's driven by habits you develop as you grow up and become skilled at your job, relationships and roles. But ask it to change and it responds, "No way! This is painful." And it is. What to do? The brain can change, but it needs three things to do so: A picture or story about what you want it to do in a new way (make the undesirable desirable); a new script on how to tell that story in new ways; and rehearsal time to learn how to live the new and stop resorting back to old familiar habits.
2. Have a crisis or create one. If things are going fine, why change? But because tomorrow will be different from today, you need to not just be ready for the new business environment in healthcare--you should create it. On the other hand, if you're in the middle of a crisis (such as a reorganization), people fall back on what they know. They fear the unknown even though they know the past is no longer working. So use the crisis (real or imagined) to build a team that adapts and innovates.