Tremendous transformations are occurring in the world of healthcare in the United States, and these transformations create both crisis and opportunity. One of Inovo’s Fortune 500 clients is right in the middle of these transformations – and is both affecting them and being affected by them. Realizing this, the client has embarked on a number of efforts to determine what strategic opportunities will emerge in healthcare as this fundamental transformation progresses.

The client’s corporate innovation group recently engaged Inovo to help it look at how the world is changing for health care providers and, more importantly, to discover opportunities for the client to help providers deliver the best care possible. For the client, the provider comprises not just the doctors and nurses one normally thinks of, but also all of the other professional and non-professional providers that exist. This includes patients’ family members, online communities, personal coaches, dieticians, emergency department managers, etc. who, on a regular basis, have an influence on people’s health and wellness. It is precisely the changing nature of this ecosystem that will be the source of value in the future. It is also why the future world of the healthcare provider is so hard to predict and influence.

By the Numbers

Together, we produced the following outcomes

What We Did Together

The joint client/Inovo team deployed the Opportunity Discovery phase of our ADOPTS™ framework for strategic innovation.  A diverse team of ten people from throughout the client company (such as its health insurance, health care services, IT, and corporate innovation departments) worked with five people from Inovo on a five-month initiative of intensive learning, synthesizing, creating and shaping what will be one of the major pillars of the client’s innovation efforts over the next few years.

Along the way, the team created more than 100 opportunity hypotheses; held over 65 in-depth interviews with individuals in 20 different roles throughout the health ecosystem; conducted six ethnographic field trips comprising 20+ site visits; and sorted through and synthesized thousands of snippets of information and knowledge gathered from all of the sources that were uncovered.  The project team did this using Inovo’s structured Iterative Deepening methodology, which ensures coverage, rigor, volume, depth, specificity and alignment of the opportunities. Iterative Deepening consists of a set of tools, methods and process guidelines that allows a team on a mission to focus its thought and attention on a domain and think diversely yet collectively about the future and the opportunities that will emerge. Iterative Deepening demands learning, creativity, evaluation and selection from all the team members by organizing activities that often are done on an ad-hoc basis or not at all. It employs Wisdom-of-Crowds tools, community building and engagement, opportunity debate, Should-Could analysis and more to encourage collective thinking about the opportunities that emerge and to shape these opportunities into something truly significant.

The Outcome

In the end, the Inovo/client project team designed a set of 14 strategic opportunities and a set of 6 future scenarios. Six of the opportunities were presented in-depth to the client’s Innovation Council (I-Council), a group of senior executives who sponsor innovation initiatives, in an interactive, multimedia session. The corporate innovation group had hoped to win approval and funding for 1-2 opportunities – and the I-Council approved four of the six for immediate funding. As one of the senior executives said at the time, “I haven’t seen the I-Council as excited about a group of well-formed concepts… ever.  We literally couldn’t sit down when we were deliberating” about which ones to green light. The opportunities and insights from this project are already working their way through the client’s innovation pipeline and are expected to help the client organization grow its business for years to come.

The Inovo work made the right call in terms of the potential size of the market, validated the market need, identified the key emerging technologies and developed key elements of a new business model that is a cornerstone of our approach.

Jamie Serenson , Director of Marketing

Henkel Corporation