Never Promise Innovation You Can't Deliver

Sick-care innovation is a tag-team sport. Consequently, a key success factor is the ability to state a clear vision and definition of innovation and get all stakeholders pulling the oars in the same direction.

Sick-care innovation is a tag-team sport. Consequently, a key success factor is the ability to state a clear vision and definition of innovation and get all stakeholders pulling the oars in the same direction.

The process is both top-down and bottom-up and each participant, whether they be an innovation champion in the trenches or the CEO in the corner office, must be sure that they are aligned.

One pitfall is for the C suite to get innovation religion, talk the talk, but not create the structure and processes to get an idea across the finish line.

Watch out for these incomplete innovation process solutions:

1. The invisible CEO who communicates from behind the curtain.

2. No IP policy.

3. No money to fund ideas.

4. No innovation leadership process.

5. No incentives to pursue physician entrepreneurship or absorb the switching costs from full time clinical practice.

6. Making participation in physician intrapreneurship an either/or decision, instead of an "and" one.

7. No plan to overcome the barriers to adoption and penetration of the ideas.

8. No clinical verification or validation of the ideas. No place to fabricate a prototype or translate customer wants and needs into a product.

9. No mentors or experiential learning platforms.

10. Showcasing the few, the proud, and the overexposed (those who hit home runs) instead of championing all those who are creating some user defined value, no matter how small.

Not walking the innovation walk is guaranteed to frustrate potential innovators and give them another reason to go underground and doubt your credibility and sincerity about innovation. Once you lose that, don't expect to get it back.