Innovation in Healthcare: Overcoming Organizational Physics for Change and Growth

June 7, 2016  |  Joel English


I just came back from the Healthcare Marketing and Physician Strategies Summit in Chicago.

Among the many interesting (and challenging) presentations was a speech by Jeremy Gutsche, author and CEO of TrendHunter. He shared insights on Innovation (Titled “Better and Faster: The Proven Path to Unstoppable Ideas) that were very thought provoking.

I must admit I come to the subject of innovation in healthcare with a decided bias. I have been working in the healthcare provider industry for close to three decades and have long been struck by how the industry is so slow to innovate and fast to imitate.

So it is no surprise that I wholeheartedly agree with the premise of Jeremy’s presentation, that we in healthcare, when it comes to innovation, have to get “better and faster.” A rapidly changing healthcare world demands a new level of customer intimacy and flexibility, as well as new disciplines that are currently rare in such a change-resistant industry.

One of Jeremy’s ideas that I found enlightening was his distinction between senior leaders as “farmers” or “hunters.” Farmers focus on:

Hunters, on the other hand:

Most senior healthcare leaders I have encountered fall into the “Farmer” category. Changing times demand a change in how we succeed moving forward in a new and uncertain world. I believe that focusing only on replicating last year’s practices will not lead us to the change necessary to succeed in this new world.

In short, we need more hunters.

Enter the marketers.

What can we do as marketing leaders to help drive innovation? We need to be pragmatic and unrelenting:

It strikes me that, if we continue with “more of what we are doing today but harder” thinking, I fear that one day we will find that others have innovated around us and that we didn’t wise up until it was too late to jump out of the boiling water.

BVK’s healthcare work reflects decades of experience working with clients as they navigate innovation and change in the industry. Check out some of the work we’ve done for our healthcare industry clients here.


is a Managing Partner, BVK Health

Get updates from The Current

Which topics interest you?

Public Service
Travel & Tourism
Recreation & Lifestyle
Consumer & Retail
Financial Services
Thinking Big

More from The Current

June 27, 2022

Travel Insights: Values in Travel

Pretty sure it was John Mellencamp who sang, “You gotta stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.” Heckuva marke...

May 25, 2022

The travel industry’s biggest buzzword – “values” – is misunderstood.

In 2021, Destinations International unveiled its Futures Study, the guidelines which at least to some extent, have become a B...

April 26, 2022

Travel Insights: Future Travel

As the world around us continues to change and we head into the second quarter of another year, the travel industry is on the...

April 5, 2022

Summer 2022 Travel: Opposition and Opportunity

Remember those high school science classes in which a teacher would encourage you to pour a test tube filled with one liquid ...

February 22, 2022

Travel Insights: Sustainability

Raise your hand if you’re feeling a little bit sustainability’d out. Like us, you’re probably hearing it everywhere, fr...

January 25, 2022

Travel Insights: Resolutions and Travel Solutions

Every year in December, our inboxes are flooded with emails and articles about New Year’s resolutions. Lose this, save that...

December 21, 2021

Top Trends 2021 – Now & Next

As the second pandemic year, 2021 was characterized by resilience, reprioritization, and reactions. Americans made shifts in ...

November 23, 2021

Travel Insights: Holiday Travel

After nearly two years of paused travel plans and cancelled get-togethers, Americans are eager to venture out this holiday se...

October 26, 2021

Travel Insights: Hispanic Traveler Audience

The Hispanic population is one of the fastest growing audiences in the United States, growing at 23% since 2010, and currentl...