- The manufacturing industry, which started using digital tools and co-location to produce something physical so many years ago.
- The animation industry, where diverse firms team up to design and develop a one-off product
I’d like to propose yet another comparison: the healthcare industry. It certainly isn’t a perfect analogy (what industry is?), but the two industries share characteristics that seem to be barriers to innovation:
- Complex network of stakeholders, with mismatched incentives
- A primarily paper-based process that is threatened by digital records, co-location, and remote teams
- About 1/3 of personnel effort is considered waste
- Ego-driven professionals (sorry surgeons... and architects... and contractors... and…)
- Investigations into digital records, co-location, and remote services
Given the similarities, it was interesting to hear Naomi Fried, PhD share the strategy, successes, and challenges with Boston Children’s Innovation Acceleration Program. Although I ended up with multiple pages of notes, there is one concept that stood out: the O-Gap.
A term coined by Naomi, the O-Gap (operationalization gap) represents the challenges associated with translating a new idea to broad operations.
The O-Gap isn't unique to healthcare, or even to “large organizations or networks.” It’s everywhere that innovation is. Closing the O-Gap is challenging, but Naomi recommends a few strategies:
- Invoice operations early
- Engage leadership
- Consider technical issues which may impede scaling
Are you seeing the O-Gap in your organization? What are you doing to close the gap?