21 Feb 2019 by AXXELIS
By Andy Dunn, Axxelis Partner
Every business wants to push the boundaries and be ahead of the curve in developing and launching new products, services, approaches to workflow and audience engagement. Not to mention data gathering and sharing. After all, that is what makes them succeed or fail as a company, and the healthcare sector is no different.
But it seems increasingly when we are approached to support new projects – everybody is asking for ‘innovative’ methods, approaches and solutions to projects and this invariably means ‘digital’.
This often fills me with dread – you see – like design, innovation is very subjective – what is considered innovative for one person is not for another. This is becoming increasingly apparent in the healthcare sector; everybody is looking for the next ‘innovative’ thing to replace what has been done previously.
There is no doubt that the digital revolution during the last 20 years has enhanced our personal and professional lives beyond our imagination and significantly changed the way we communicate.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean digital is always the way to go. That is why when considering your project deliverables, a more holistic and strategic approach is required when considering innovative solutions, rather than going down the ‘digital’ road at every opportunity.
For example – arranging a virtual webinar for your advisory board meeting may be an innovative way to achieve your meeting objectives. After all there are some excellent delivery platforms, that are not only cost-effective, but they are packed with great features such as virtual whiteboards, screen sharing, screen-in-screen video, commenting and voting, to name a few. With all of this technology at your fingertips what else would you need?
That all depends on how you measure the overall success of your meeting – yes, this may be suitable to achieve your objectives and expectations. But could these be far exceeded by arranging a face-to-face on-site meeting instead?
Clearly, selecting a good group of advisors is essential, the facilitator/chairperson will drive the meeting and ensure the objectives/questions are met/answered. But, consider these questions – who are the faculty and what are their personalities? Are they likely to be fully engaged sat at their screen? Are they focused on the discussion in hand? Are they responding to the mountain of emails they no doubt have in their inbox? Being interrupted by their colleagues? Are they possibly intimidated by or in awe of more esteemed advisors on the panel and reluctant to put their points across? What is their internet speed like? How technically savvy are the participants (some will be more than others) – invariably there will be some 3rd party plug-in to install to launch the software.
Face-to-face meetings also encourages discussion during down-times and breaks, which may also fuel further discussion and raise questions you had not considered, getting more out of your faculty and enhancing the overall success. Finally, what about building those relationships within the group and forging trust and partnerships for future collaboration.
There may be situations where a mixed approach is appropriate, whereby you have core advisors and facilitator/chairperson at a single on-site venue. Then have further advisors join by webinar link, or even simply by telephone. At least the core discussion is driven and focussed from a central point, and you don’t lose the subtle, additional conversations and true collaborative elements.
Innovative, digital solutions certainly have their place but, consideration should be made when strategising each deliverable. Particularly when deciding how to maximise the best outcome to exceed your objectives.
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