Category Archives: Innovation

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Customer Experience in healthcare.

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General practitioners (at least the ‘huisartsen’ in Belgium) do business like they did 60 years ago. In fact, they don’t do business at all. The just do ‘diagnostics’. The thing is, when you feel ill, you don’t need to be diagnosed. You want to get better. And even more: the journey to become better should not make you even more sick…

How things go today (real life example):

I have injured my feet (the bed is stronger than my feet apparently ;-)). Nothing to bad, but I want to make sure it’s not broken or will heal badly. So I call my doctor for an appointment (my doctor only works on appointment). I am lucky and get an appointment today at 11:15. Upon arrival, I find out there are road works, so I need to find a parking spot some streets further. No big deal; but I hate being late and need to hurry (with a injured foot remember ;-)). When I arrive in the waiting room, there are 4 people still there… I already get the creeps…

Because I was under the impression I had a fixed slot (for me, that’s what an appointment is), I have planned other appointments after my doctor visit. Almost one hour later, when somebody is going in, I ask the doctor I am in his agenda… He apologises for the delay but confirms I’m in his agenda -after the one heading in now.

More than one hour later, when I come out … of course the pharmacy is closed because of the delay, so no healing for me today.

I know, things can happen: doctors can have urgencies (and we all hope they drop everything than and go to the rescue), but this happens all the time. And it’s because doctors don’t look at the customer journey of their patients. Information sharing, planning for delight, segmenting customers (I don’t want a social talk, I want it fast and good, whilst others really value a social talk),… All these things that can create a far better patient experience, a better doctor experience and better health overall.

 

Which general practitioners want to re-design their process? I would love to help!


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Everything is a product (towards a goal).

Elon Musk (Tesla, Space X,…) is building a Gigafactory to build batteries. What stroke me is how he defined the building itself in his speech when he launched the Tesla Powerwall, a solution for home owners to disconnect from the electricity grid. Elon said they were building the factory as a product. This is where Elon’s genius comes in.

Batteries are not a fancy high tech product. Building them is mainly a chemical process. Building a chemical factory is not a sexy thing and has been done 1000 times before. However, by approaching the factory as a product (for internal use even), Tesla will once more be able to deliver real innovation.

Let’s take one step back: Building a Gigafactory is not a goal for Elon. The goal of Tesla is to change the energy production towards a more CO2 neutral one. The factory is just a way to help that goal achieve. So with the Gigafactory, Tesla is basically building a product for internal use. The difference this will make in the conception can be huge: Any other firm would probably look at those 1000 other chemical factories, try to scale that and build a factory just like all the others. Not hard to imagine that this factory will have all the benefits & downsides of those 1000 other ones. Because the architects, technicians,… conceiving, building & operating it will be the ones who have experience with all those other factories and bring that experience to the table. All these knowledge will only limit the thinking frame and come up with another dull factory.

Now imagine if you started from that clear goal in delivering a topnotch product to deliver batteries for the home (which no one really did before). This will open the possibilities for factory designers, chemists, supply chain specialists …  to come up with real new solutions to all the problems they will face during construction… and be able to deliver a new kind of factory.

Also for this Gigafactory, Tesla keeps it’s open-source Patent policy which means they actually mean it: their Gigafactory is a product to achieve their larger goal, so whatever they learn & develop during the build of this Gigafactory, it will be open for others to benefit from. Because Elon realises Tesla is not in the market of operating Chemical factories that are different from competition, but in making the world more CO2 neutral. So the more Gigafactories pop up, the better their annual report will look.

The presentation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1hYulxYOPA

Part of the larger speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKORsrlN-2k


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Making a complex world complicated?

Reading ‘Reinventing organizations’, I stumbled upon a remark by Jean-François Zobrist (FAVI) between the difference between Complicated systems and Complex systems.

Although the difference is quite straightforward when you think about it, we often tend to mix them up with a huge impact on business.

Let me use the metaphor used by Zobrist to explain the difference:
An airplane is a complicated system. There are millions of parts that need to work together seamlessly. But everything can be mapped out: if you change one part, you should be able to predict all the consequences.
A bowl of spaghetti is a complex system. Even though it has just a few dozen “parts”, it is virtually impossible to predict what will happen when you pull at the end of a strand of spaghetti that sticks out of the bowl.

Now what is the impact on business you say?

A lot of businesses are organized to cope with complicated systems. When we talk about complicated systems, we talk about ‘predict & control’. Organizations that are build to predict the future, to create an upfront strategy, to allocate budgets based on this strategy & to follow up KPI’s and the budget by committees and controllers on the road to the predefined goal.
Nothing wrong with that if you are indeed working in a complicated system.
Everything changes when you are operating in a complex system, with lot’s of uncertainty in the ecosphere and within your company. Predict & control proves to be a really bad way of acting in these systems. Evidence points towards a more ‘sense & respond’ way of working in these systems.

Which system do you think your business is really in? And how is your business adapted to it??


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Digital Tools for the rest of us.

Digital tools are there to make our work life more easy, more efficient, more enjoyable. But a lot of them are very complicated, and there are a loooot of them, so they become more of a distraction.

I’m a big fan of those new ways of working and like to experiment with them. Sadly, a lot of time, tools don’t work out in a real life company that is not a trendy tech-startup. So I gathered the most basic tools that help you in managing your work, collaborate with colleagues, share files, get things done,… that actually work in an environment where not everybody is a digital native.

Enjoy ‘Digital tools for the rest of us‘! Share if you like!


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Minimum Awesome Product

Minimum Awesome Product

Creating a new product or service can take years. More and more companies however move away from the “don’t launch it until it’s completely finished, retested and out of date” approach. They go for a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) approach where a working but ‘not ready for mass production’ product is launched towards a small group of customers in order to help further developing the product.

In that context, a new question arises:

“What about a kick-ass product”?

The risk with MVP’s is that what makes a product truly remarkable – more often than not – lies in the details, in how remarkable the elements of the products come together in a design, a use, a service experience,… With a MVP, you will only deliver the core of the new product or service, which is most of the time not enough for a real WOW experience. And by only offering this, you also tend to focus on getting the core better when working with the first customers. They evaluate what they get (the core capabilities) and by default they will give you feedback on how to make that core better by adapting it better to their needs. Only in rare cases, they will focus on the things that are not there or that they are not (yet) aware of (the details, the design, the packaging, the unclear element of a new kind of usage,…).

So how to tackle this issue without going again towards the old model of developing a product forever?

What about a parallel route? You push your MVP product in the process with customers to focus on shipping a real product as soon as possible. At the same time, use a small group (or even individual) to add some magic to the existing MVP product. Why not use a designer, an outside consultant, one of your top sales guys,…?

When you work on shipping your version 2 of the MVP product, just add the WOW elements (as they are not linked to the core of your product, this should be rather easy). Imagine how delighted your first customers will be if they see that both their requirements were met in your new release and a magical tough has been added.

Minimum Awesome Product (MAP): Delivered!


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