Brian Solis has it right, it is the end of business as usual, and healthcare is no exception. Has the market reality produced a new set of assumptions, emerging opportunities, or a better climate for disruptive innovation? In my interview with Jack Corrao, the managing director of the Corrao Group, he stated that the healthcare landscape is being challenged by innovations such as cloud computing, microsensor devices, and most of all, healthcare consumerism. Just as Solis wrote his book to “groom a new generation of leaders, people who want to lead and are looking for the answers and inspiration necessary to guide others into uncharted territory,” Corrao observed that there is a new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs who want and need to learn quickly how to diminish any probability of failure.
Corrao’s perspective is also in sync with the recent PricewaterhouseCoopers 15th Annual Global CEO Survey which indicated that CEO’s are “slightly less optimistic than they were last year, but are still focused on growth. Further, customer demand is the primary driver of corporate strategy which includes getting the product and service portfolio right…and encouraging the free flow of ideas and innovation regardless of where they originate.” The report also notes that “almost all US CEO’s are revising their innovation strategies with 72% focusing on creating new products and services within existing business models.” As an example, many in healthcare have recently focused on Aetna, as a company that is just not talking about innovation, but leading change by leveraging innovation as a vehicle for growth. Check out what Aetna and Chairman and CEO, Mark T. Bertolini, @mtbert is tweeting: “…DC is not the answer, just the catalyst. Disruptive technology in the hands of the doc and consumer will disrupt healthcare!” Corrao agrees that, “Aetna serves as a perfect example that ‘seeing what is next’ does not only come from startup’s – Aetna is responding to the new demands of the market place, and hopefully we will see more companies doing the same; it’s important to realize that the market is much more peer-to-peer connected due to social media and technology platforms.”
Another company that seems to have responded to the connected customer and consumer is Salesforce.com, the enterprise cloud computing company, which has built an ecosystem that allows companies to bring their ideas to market. Corrao states that, “they recognize that companies need innovation to succeed and have responded to the impact of social media; companies are changing the way they collaborate and communicate with customers and Salesforce.com provides the ability for businesses to transform themselves into a social enterprise – a tremendous tool for healthcare innovators.”
How do innovators diminish the probability of failure? As a business lifecycle consultant, Corrao has evaluated his fair share of business plans and offers up some insight:
1. Take a sanity test-speak to outside sources – “you are not the smartest person in the room, leverage outside subject matter experts.”
2. Your first business plan may not last even one year – there may be 2-3 iterations
3. Design a PR strategy where consumers become a strong voice or advocate for your product.
4. Don’t rush to market on emotions before you’ve fine tuned your plan, you’ll run out of steam.
The influential Solis states that “connected consumers represent the convergence of information technology…and the future of media and business is powered by collaboration and co-creation,” Corrao drives the point home that innovators should focus on consumers that are ready to buy real time web and mobile based information where they can take control of their health. Healthcare consumerism is a significant driver of innovation and now that companies like Aetna are talking innovation, the healthcare innovation trajectory has just changed.
Solis, Brian (2011-10-12). The End of Business As Usual: Rewire the Way You Work to Succeed in the Consumer Revolution (Kindle Locations 336-337). John Wiley and Sons. Kindle Edition.
LeAnna Carey is the Healthcare Editor for Innovation Excellence, the principal of TheHealthMaven, LLC, and co-founder of a mobile healthcare company, AuraViva. Lea hosts a radio show and can be found on iTunes where she interviews healthcare entrepreneurs and innovators at http://thehealthmavenblog.com/.