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Empowering teams to create a culture of innovation

Author: Oliver Jobson

When working with any of our clients we rely on the expertise and knowledge of the teams that we work with. In a lot of cases these teams have had to experience years of frustration with processes that, instead of being designed around the customer are developed in silos and often groups of processes don’t align together to create a congruent system.

One of our key challenges is to create an environment where the ownership of the processes is handed over to the teams to design themselves – albeit guided by our approach. By shifting this ownership and creating effective two way communication structures to complement it we really start to see genuine examples of process innovation coming out from the people on the shop floor who are true experts in their own processes.

In healthcare we see this approach regularly transforms working environments. In one of our most recent engagements there were multiple examples of clinicians developing solutions that were truly innovative and enhanced the patient experience AND led to a measured improvement in output.

Before all this can begin you must first deliver uplift in the capability of people. The NHS cannot rely nor afford on the long term support of partners so we pride ourselves in giving staff the capability to go on and be able to identify their own problems.

Innovation cannot be one large big bang and then nothing else until the next big ‘innovation drive’ comes along but rather a series of small incremental improvements by everyone that add up to something substantial.

The success lies in having the alignment and senior level buy-in to allow the time for this new culture to take hold rather than expect to see results overnight but also to embrace the innovations that the organisation create.

The ideas or solutions may not all be successful but the importance of having an individual looking at a process or product and questioning how to improve it should always be encouraged. This leadership will help foster a culture of innovation and improvement within an organisation which will deliver those incremental changes that are so vital to delivering improved patient care.

The Unipart Way: performance improvement that sustains

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