Commission on Excellence and Innovation in Health

Harnessing insight: give your team a ‘leg-up’

Katie Billing and Tina Hardin, CEIH Executive Directors, share their thoughts on how we create the space to innovate and enhance our teams’ chance of projects being delivered successfully, safely and sustainably in healthcare.

Leaders in healthcare are stretched with little time to be strategic, let alone tactical. Complex public problems require systems that shape creativity and are designed to produce an impact. We do not have a shortage of ideas, but ideas alone are not enough.

So where to start? Start by enabling your team to see, so that they can decide.

Picture you are walking towards a giant maze. You see the challenge before you and of course, courageously tackle it head on without hesitation. You stride through the first stretch of the maze and take a left turn, then a right, then another and, eventually come to a dead end. That is ok, you know it's important to be resilient.

Getting started again you back track for a bit and then, following your gut you get going again; left, right, right again, left. After a while of diligently pressing on, making a decision at each corner, you stop and look around you. You realise you don’t know where you are. In fact, you don’t know if the direction you are heading in is the way you need to go. As you begrudgingly trudge the seemingly never-ending paths you begin to feel frustrated and know that you are not achieving what you set out to do and will likely run out of time to achieve your goal anyway. If only there was some information to guide you as you decide, a way to know you are choosing wisely and heading in the right direction.

Now consider your team is in the maze. What if you were able to give them a 'leg-up’ to see the whole maze over the wall? Whilst certainly not the only piece in a bigger puzzle towards building a workplace culture that delivers innovation, providing meaningful information that leads to them making informed decisions is where you should start.

So how do we create the space to innovate and enhance our teams’ chance of projects being delivered successfully, safely and sustainably? The answer, or ‘leg up’ is through insights - actionable information. An insight driven approach can both create the space to enable innovation and help us be selective about what we do.

Teams process lots of information daily but are we giving them the right insights, helping them to ask the right questions? Can they see their destination and work out how to get there? We can feed their creative process with data to help inform and refine their decisions. They can use insights to agree on the destination and how to get there as a team. The right turns and left turns through the maze become your clearly planned strategy and actions towards your goal.

“Insight driven” doesn’t have to be complex algorithms or dashboards:

  • Use benchmarking to see where your team may be different to others and support it with evidence
  • Gather anecdotal information from your colleagues and consumers.

Shaping creativity by using an insight driven approach is a process led by data, to focus your whole team on solving a few key problems together for impact, rather than trying to solve many problems alone.

Have an idea or a problem you’re trying to solve to better healthcare for South Australians?

We’d like to hear from you - contact us.