Fostering Innovation: Creating a Workplace Culture Open to Change

Fostering Innovation: Creating a Workplace Culture Open to Change

Practical Tips for Maintaining a Growth Mindset in your Organization

By Morgan Atkins

Stratasan understands how paramount change is to progress. We strive to be trailblazers in the healthcare space, developing innovative tools and services that address our clients' growth goals. The best way we can effectively lead our clients and provide value is by innovative thinking that challenges the status quo. Our goal is to empower our customers with the strategies that will equip them to more effectively face a challenging and ever-evolving healthcare industry.

At the heart of innovation is the ability to reframe your perspective. Henry Ford once said "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses." Often, the question itself limits what you think the possibilities are. If you have an open mind about the possibilities, you maximize your chances of building effective and unexpected solutions.

We want to fundamentally shift the way the healthcare industry looks for solutions to their challenges. So often we see people stuck in a way of doing things simply because that’s the way it has always been done. As humans, our brains process the idea of change as dangerous, we can’t help it. We think we are being helpful when someone brings a new idea and we tell them all of the potential problems. We need to be mindful of creating a “yes, and” world. If you change your thinking to “what can we do instead,” and build upon others ideas rather than reject them, you open the doors for progress.

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The Stratasan team loves a challenge and is extremely experienced in tackling the impossible. A team of curious individuals who want to know more, our newly-adopted core value of "We'll Figure it Out" encompasses our innovative culture. We receive requests from clients for things that have never been done before or things that seem impossible. We take great pride in the fact that clients love coming to us with a new idea or current frustration, knowing that our team can tackle anything. If you can dream it, we can do it!

Innovation has always been a priority for us. It is the motivational force behind our product development and a foundational component of our strategic service offerings. It is in this spirit that we have created a new role for me as the Director of Innovation.

So, how will this new role affect how we operate?

Many of our greatest products have been developed because a client brought us an idea they thought was impossible to achieve. Clients are encouraged to continue to bring us new ideas so we can exceed expectations and break down barriers. In this way, we act as an extension of your team. We want you to succeed as much as you want to succeed.

We will make a concerted effort to create an environment in which new ideas flourish. One of our goals is to encourage cross-departmental contributions. We are lucky to have a team with a wide range of experiences, and we want to tap into everyone’s abilities and skills. We want to open the floor for problem solving and create an environment where ideas will be heard no matter your position in the organization.

Over the years at Stratasan, we have bored through a lot of data. While we have fantastic products that provide effective solutions, we have only scratched the surface of the potential we have at our fingertips. This year, we plan to uncover more of the unknown and tackle more of the impossible.

Creative thinking comes naturally to me, partly due to my rebellious side that sees rules more as "guidelines." I've never been good at following the rules or taking “no” for an answer. But change isn’t easy for everyone. You can take steps to encourage a more innovative culture TODAY by engaging in a few of these simple, practical ideas:

  • Challenge the status quo for how your team approaches regular meetings:
  • Break the rules: simply as an innovation exercise, approach one practice that’s always been done a certain way and find a new way of execution.
  • Get input from outside your team. When you come across opportunity for growth, don’t default to your core team for input. Reach out to others for outside perspective. Get the opinion of co-workers with less experience. They often have the best ideas simply because they approach work from a different vantage point.

At the end of the day, change is often hard. Thinking innovatively requires extra effort and may come with some trepidation. Some common reactions to a new idea are: “yeah, but everyone will have to learn the new way,” “yes, but that costs money,” “yeah, but this is the way we’ve always done it,” and then my personal favorite, “yes, but the CEO/board are used to seeing it this way.” This is a world of “yes, but”, which is detrimental to progress. You can lead change within your organization, no matter your position or role. Start taking small steps today towards fostering a mindset and a company culture open to progress and you may be surprised by the benefits that come along with embracing a new way of thinking.

Article by Morgan Atkins, Director of Innovation for Stratasan

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