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Last Friday saw me showing my mum and girlfriend around my nearly completed extension. Excitement and stupidity led me to fall (off what will be the retaining wall,) landing and cracking my ankle. Result – me, prostrate on the concrete floor and what has become a huge blue foot/ankle/leg, a pimp style limp and walking stick that has cheered my colleagues up no end.
Having left it a number of days, I finally hobbled down to St Charles Hospital’s Minor Injuries Unit for a check up and X-ray expecting the usual secondary care inner London cliché. What greeted me was an organisation that sang with efficiency and care. Each person I hobbled passed asked, ‘did I need a hand?’, and ‘whether I knew where I was going?’ Furthermore, each initiated interaction contributed hugely to my view of the NHS as a service. I couldn’t help but ask the source of this feeling. The receptionist, porter, doctor, and nurse all were consistent in their answers. They put the amazing vibe of the hospital down to it feeling autonomous, working within a clear process whilst having the freedom to use their initiative, team and individual visibility, defined roles, and putting the patient right at the centre. I raised this last night at a meeting with a strategy head of a large PCT, and he aired the view that Polyclinics are aiming for exactly this – smaller, autonomous, organisations, staffed with empowered carers all driving towards a better patient experience. I only hope this can be realised.
As part of my development plan I recently attended an event celebrating Women’s Enterprise Day. ‘Rising to the challenge’ hosted a panel of award-winning women inventor-innovators sharing first hand experiences of overcoming the many challenges of getting a new product idea to market and establishing a young business.
Notebook in hand I was aiming to learn what it means to be innovative – what are the secrets behind it and indeed is there a set formula that can help us to ensure that our work is always as relevant and insightful as possible.
Speaking at the event were 4 successful inventors all well in the swing of marketing and production and on their way to what seemed to be a fairly common goal of making money! What interested me the most was the similarities in the principles and attitudes of these inventors to our industry. So what did I learn…?
The need to have an idea but to accept that it will evolve was potentially the rule that most resonated for me. Ideas – no matter how inspirational they may be, need to adapt and change and most importantly they need to be relevant to the end user. Without knowing your customer, what makes them tick and why they would be interested, your idea is likely to sink. Whilst these 4 inventors were unique in the way they described their experiences, they all had this understanding in common. They demonstrated a vast understanding of the market within which their product/idea sat and talked passionately about who their customer was and how they interacted with their product. Finally the importance of having a brand that wraps the idea and being a true advocate for the brand (with a small air of arrogance and belief) was something that I’m sure has guided their success.
Whilst I am still not convinced that I have a set formula in my armoury to help me to learn the art of innovation, I was certainly reassured that we too are doing something right…
More than 50,000 people gathered outside Hive yesterday to watch the Regent Street Christmas lights being turned on. Colleagues, friends, sisters and WAGs gathered in the office to drink us dry and eat 200 of my sister’s cheese straws.
This year the theme is stars and with this in mind the organisers dug deep in their credit crunched pockets and hired McFly. (I thought a McFly was a happy meal). This bunch of plucky funsters took time away from their busy schedules to throw the switch. Next year we are pretty sure they will available to check the bulbs.
Want to experience it for yourself? Click the video to see what the Nokia N95, a window ledge and Verve Clicquot can achieve when combined to capture the magic of an event.
So Obama has won, history made. But what a legacy Bush has left him with. Economic chaos and 2 wars to name just the obvious challenges he faces. Traditionally the healthcare industry is highly sceptical of Democratic nominees, but this election has been a little different. Donations to the Democrats are up 15% and the industry seems more relaxed about Obama’s intentions than one would expect. Quite how things pan out is still anyone’s guess. How much focus can health get when there are such monumental issues facing the US economic and foreign policy programmes?
What is clear though is that drug prices will get severe scrutiny, generic drugs will feature heavily in both his and medicare’s planning and he wants an expansion in healthcare benefits to the uninsured. What he is also wedded to is investment in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Over the last few years the US as a centre of innovation has been on the wane. Less graduates in science, less investment, less of everything. He has been clear that he wants greater investment in healthcare research, he is a firm believer in biological knowledge and stem and genetic research. These areas will be reinvigorated by his election and with his support the palate for cutting edge research may just be on the turn.
What the real impact of all of this means is anyone’s guess, but if his mantra is true and “change is coming” I sincerely hope it reignites the exploration of life changing research.