Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

30 April 08

AHRQ Homepage

I don’t say this often and usually look at things with a healthy dose of skepticism. However, this is a such a wonderful idea. It’s called the “HealthCare Innovations Exchange” – a government website that offers visitors a compendium of tried and tested innovations across the healthcare sector. Think of them as case studies in innovation written by the innovators themselves.AHRQ Logo

Complete with a keyword search, and categorized into section like “Stage of Care”, “Setting of Care”, and “Organizational Process”, it’s an easy-to-use site that is filled with real life examples of innovations that have worked.

We’ve always been trained to think that innovation has to be something completely new, but this endeavor is a great reminder that a “fast-follower” strategy can work just as well. So, why reinvent the wheel when you can learn from others? Perhaps this is the beginning of many industry and trade associations to take a leadership role in shaping and mainstreaming how innovation can spread within their sectors. Think about powerful a similar “innovation exchange” can work especially in those industries that are ripe for innovation – airlines, insurance, financial services and more.

Of course, this would mean that contributors have an agenda to push forward a common good, but perhaps associations can play the netural, unbiased role in showcasing innovations that can take an entire industry forward.


Are They Smarter Across the Pond?

11 January 08

What a laudable achievement. The U.K. government in 2007 set up a “Department of Innovation, Universities, and Skills” and is responsible for adult learning, further and higher education, skills, science and innovation across the country.

The goals of the department are to spur research across the economy, provide those in schools and universities the skills they need to be better creative and innovative thinkers, and have more people involved in basic scientific research like math, and engineering.

Besides setting policy, running workshops, providing advice, and delivering funding to schools, businesses and universities, the department also publishes a wide variety of research publications on the topic of innovation.

Just yesterday, the department and the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, honored the UK team who attended “WorldSkills 2007”, the largest and most prestigious skills competition in the world.

We all know that we need leadership, not lip service, to make innovation truly effective. Here’s a shining example of how the UK government’s top brass is standing by their commitment to make innovation part of the domestic agenda.

Visit the Department’s homepage here. You’ll find some useful research that’s free to download.