Rosabeth Moss Kanter's 15-minute competitive advantage

Just like your children need to be able to understand and incorporate changes in roles and expectations at home, so do your clients need to understand and incorporate the innovations you present to them before they will support you. This is especially important for innovations within the health care system.

For inspiration, here is Rosabeth Moss Kanter's short list of innovations most likely to succeed at gaining the support of your customers. They are fiendishly simple:

  • Trial-able: The idea or product can be demonstrated on a pilot basis. Customers can see it in action first and incorporate it on a small scale before committing to replace everything.
  • Divisible: It can be adopted in segments or phases. Users can ease into it, a step at a time. They can even use it in parallel with current solutions.
  • Reversible: If it doesn't work, it's possible to return to pre-innovation status. Eventually you want life to be unimaginable without it, but at least in theory, it's possible to go back to zero.
  • Tangible: It offers concrete results that can be seen to make a difference in something that users need and value.
  • Fits prior investments: The idea builds on "sunk costs" or actions already taken, so it looks like not much change is involved.
  • Familiar: It feels like things that people already understand, so it is not jarring to use. It is consistent with other experiences, especially successful ones.
  • Congruent with future direction: It is in line with where things are heading anyway. It doesn't require people to rethink their priorities or pathways, even though of course it changes things.
  • Positive publicity value: It will make everyone look good.
I hope you'll read the entire article, "Find the 15-Minute Competitive Advantage." Ms. Kanter is one of the finest business writers out there.

BIO: Rosabeth Moss Kanter holds the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professorship at Harvard Business School, where she specializes in strategy, innovation, and leadership for change. Her strategic and practical insights have guided leaders of large and small organizations worldwide for over 25 years. The former Editor of Harvard Business Review (1989-1992), Professor Kanter has been named to The Times of London list of the “50 most powerful women in the world”.

Her latest book is SuperCorp: How Vanguard Companies Create Innovation, Profits, Growth, and Social Good. At Harvard, she is chair and director of the Advanced Leadership Initiative, a University-wide faculty group aimed at deploying a leadership force of experienced leaders who can address challenging national and global problems in their next stage of life.

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