Innovation is associated with a search for unusual methods and projects for significantly good results. Sure, do that.
But before you get to the ‘search for unusual and new’, is there something you can do with the usual and the old for quite similar results?
Yes, before you jump to new ways to making money (isn’t that the biggest benefit of innovation?), why not first prevent losing money in everyday operations. Before spouting poetry, isn’t it useful to first repair the plumbing?
Let us take the case of Almeda Health Systems ( AHS ) in California. By 2005, AHS was losing $1 million a month and had a deficit of more than $50 million. The new CEO Wright Lassiter and new COO Bill Manns decided that so many things were broken at AHS that talking about values and strategy (and also innovation ) would backfire, so they decided to first repair the broken parts. They launched a “grassroots money hunt,” which they now call “the foundation of our success.” Lassiter and Manns put 85 top managers into 12 “odd couple teams” including doctors, nurses, managers, and technicians. He asked the teams to find $21 million by cutting costs and increasing revenues. Lassiter told them, “It’s up to you.” They came up with many good ideas; for example, they replaced a $96.50 tool to test the umbilical-cord blood of newborns with a 29-cent solution that worked just as well—saving $322,000 a year.
Before you can spread something good, the first order of business is to drive out the bad.
No innovation poetry; just good plumbing. Adequacy before excellence.