Digital Disrupts Diagnostics: The Call for Intrapreneurs

In my last column, I introduced a few trends that are disrupting the healthcare industry. The future of the business—no matter which healthcare industry you are in—is digital. We are in the beginning stages of disruption that I believe will continue to occur over the next 10 years.

History shows that most companies are unable to mount the necessary change required to adapt. Organizational complexity, culture, operational silos and previous industry success all make major adaptations challenging. Why? The main reason is that a strategic response requires a consensus view that is difficult to achieve—especially quickly. For most companies this can only happen when facing a crisis—and that is typically when it is too late.

How Change Is Driven

I like the saying, “big ships don’t turn easily” because it accurately describes the pace of change in large organizations. Part of a successful change management plan is identification of the problem. Then, it comes down to creating a sense of urgency and identifying the leaders who can drive change.

One of the first steps that can be taken to engage and energize is to find the “entrepreneurs inside” your organizations. These are the “intrapreneurs”—the rule breakers, the troublemakers and the people that challenge the status quo. They are truly passionate. And they are the ones who can begin to drive change and innovation from inside large organizations out.

How do you find the intrapreneurs in your organization? They often share a set of common traits. A few questions to ask yourself if you want to be that kind of change agent include:

  • Are you passionate about your company?
  • Do you always do more than asked and look for ways to continuously improve?
  • Are you a “subject matter expert” in your area?
  • Do you like to innovate and initiate change?

If you can answer all these questions with a “yes,” the change agent who can makeover your company may be you. So why become an intrapreneur? The answer is simple, and in some ways, urgent: Your company—and the healthcare industry—are literally dying for you to emerge and lead change.

A few more questions further pinpoint who the intrapreneurs are. If you find these questions resonate positively—again, you could be the change agent your company is seeking:

  • Do you desire a change and want your company to succeed?
  • Do you know what needs to happen and what it takes for success?
  • Are you interested in changing the status quo?
  • Do you know the secret sauce for making change in your organization?

In many cases, these people—the hidden intrapreneurs—are already known to the company, often before these people know this about themselves. They indeed have reputations that precede them and in some cases, they just need a nudge and a bit of encouragement to take that step forward. In any case, the trends are clear. Change is needed. Opportunity is everywhere. Intrapreneurs wanted. Apply inside.


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