Large, established organizations aren’t built for rapid change. How could they be? And why should they be? After all, they’re big for a reason– they serve hundreds, thousands or millions of people reliably well every day. That kind of dependability and efficiency isn’t compatible with disruption and change.
Sometimes, however, organizations are confronted with new challenges they aren’t equipped to solve. They can’t always iterate current processes into better outcomes. Sometimes, a transformative innovation is necessary to adapt to a changing market landscape.
Recently, I had the pleasure of discussing the challenges of transformation with a large group of doctors, nurses and administrators at a conference hosted by MaineHealth. Healthcare workers are subject to immense pressure and tight constraints as they try to perform some of the most important jobs there are. What can they learn from startups? A lot, I think. Even though no hospital or healthcare system can operate like a startup (nor should it), the “startup mindset” is about finding ways to break out of what’s known and experiment with what’s possible.
Here’s a short summary of the talk.
You might notice that I steered clear of offering many prescriptions on how exactly to implement startup-type processes, including management and learning tools. The details of running a startup are beyond the scope of this talk. This talk is about starting a conversation for people who many not feel included in the innovation discussion.
What do you think? Is the startup mindset helpful to employees in large, established organizations? Is this idea of “hyper-adaptability” something that’s just too risky and too chaotic to even consider? Pipe-dreamy? Naive? Curious to hear your thoughts.