Over the past few days, I raised three big strategy questions for health and human service organizations in a time of rapid innovation. The first, how your organization develops a “vertical” strategy to have influence in the emerging care management models (the drivers of change) in your markets, was addressed by our series on integrated care coordination in pieces such as What’s In A Word? A Lot, If That Word Is “Integrated” all members and Sustainability – During & After The Perfect Storm all members. The second, how to develop a breakthrough new service (once you’ve decided what that is), was addressed yesterday in Implementing Strategy With Rapid Innovation In Mind all members.
This leaves the last question, how does your organization select that “next generation” positioning and array of service lines in order to stay a market leader? Selecting new service lines is an integral part of your strategy process – as reflected in the chart below.
And, we have a number of resources on new service line development. If you’re moving down the path with your organization of deciding which new opportunity to pursue, check out:
The Tricky Path From Strategy To New Service all members
But, among so many opportunities, how do you know if your new service line idea is a good idea? The right market research that goes into making those decisions (opportunities, competitors, etc.) – and a structured service line design and development process (both described in the resources above) will increase the likelihood that the new service line you choose to invest in is a success. But, a recent article I read, Why Your Company Should Use the Kickstarter Model to Innovate, raised some interesting points for me about the internal politics in making the decisions about what new service lines to fund. Author Michael Schrage wrote:
…one inherent challenge — flaw? — in the overwhelming majority of the innovation initiatives I’ve seen is how intrinsically compartmentalized, segregated and silo-ized they become. They’re creative and/or innovative efforts appealing to creatives and innovators….Moreover, funding for innovation overwhelmingly comes from “budgets” rather than any discretionary funds held by individuals or small teams…”
The author’s provocative solution? Use a Kickstarter-like model for a “public” vetting (or a vetting of your idea among selected stakeholders) of your new service line idea. In case you’re unfamiliar, Kickstarter is a crowdfunding site that helps raise money for creative projects, including films, games, music, art, design, and technology. Some examples of projects being funded on Kickstarter include Veterans’ Voices : Mental Health and the Military, MIND ZONE: Therapists Behind The Front Lines, iPads & Autism: How to Guide, and TOUGH LOVE a documentary about the child welfare system. Kickstarter provides a public vetting of new ideas and initiatives – using crowdsourcing as its driver.
The point? Gain valuable market insights by using a crowdsourcing model to determine what your employees, your shareholders, your stakeholders, and your customers are interested in. “Kickstarterizing the enterprise provides a powerful way of rebalancing top down innovation efforts with bottom/middle up projects that inspire cross-functional/trans-border support.” I’m not sure that crowdsourced democracy should replace market data and strategic insight in new service line decisions – but it would make a very interesting addition.
P.S. For more info on planning a new service line, be sure to join us in New Orleans for The Planning & Innovation Institute where OPEN MINDS Senior Associate, Joseph Naughton-Travers will present New Service Line Development From A To Z: Tips, Tricks & Advice From The Experts.
For another free resource, see: Making Innovation Your Secret Weapon all members