To ensure value creation and open innovation in the health sector, we must build bridges between and within the private industry and the public health sector. Only by working together as an ecosystem and collaborating across organisations can we find solutions to the healthcare challenges of today and the future.
Within the healthcare sector, most people are acutely aware of the need for collaboration between private and public sectors. But, being just aware of something and knowing how to approach it are different. In this article, we outline a few tips.
1. Think systemic and not silos
In healthcare services, a user will only be content when several organisations have succeeded in working together. Many services appear simple from the outside, while the backstage is often a complex landscape of technology and service suppliers. Realising new value within these landscapes requires systemic thinking, understanding root causes, facilitation, stakeholder involvement, and the ability to communicate complex ideas.
2. Dare to share with an open innovation mindset
Sharing knowledge and information is often a hurdle in cross-collaboration and ecosystem innovation. Fear of inviting other stakeholders into your 'territory' stifles development and results in incremental innovation rather than real problem-solving. By opening your innovation to external stakeholders, customers and suppliers, you’ll expose yourself to the trends affecting your business, positioning yourself to be sourcing ideas and best practices from others. And by sharing your thought leadership, you will contribute to your industry's development. Also, using an external facilitator can reduce the threshold and make collaboration safer and less risky.
3. Listen mindfully to enable yourself to navigate the complexity
Gather as many different competencies as possible in your innovation process. A mix of expertise, experience, and perspectives increases the chances of finding the right problem and solution. By listening carefully to different viewpoints, it will be easier to navigate the complexity of the problem.
4. Be clear on what the desired value is
Innovation is, or at least should be, centred around value creation, and participants in business ecosystems create more value collectively than they could create individually. Hence, being open and honest about what value you’re trying to develop as an organisation is crucial. We must know each other's goals for collaboration across organisations to forge a path forward together. That way, we can best use everyone’s knowledge and motivations.
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