In today’s issue of FierceHealthcare, Dr. Andrea Simon’s latest article, “How healthcare leaders can deal with fear, uncertainty and greed,” is prominently featured. Drawing on her experience as an anthropologist and founder/principle of Simon Associates Marketing Consultants, Dr. Simon examines the ways in which today’s hospitals and other healthcare institutions need to uncover and then implement innovation if they are to avoid the FUGs—fear, uncertainty and greed. The best path to innovative thinking? Playing games.
Excerpts from Dr. Simon’s article:
Get past the fear of change. A recent Harvard Business Review article explains the fears that get in the way of successful creativity. For example, people know how to play and create when they are children, but as they get older, they become afraid of four key emotions: the messy unknown, being judged, the first steps and losing controls.
To get past these stalemates and instead, create new ways to adjust to changing times, I suggest healthcare leaders “play” as a solution—not random diversion but “serious play” and innovation-stimulating games.
Serious play unlocks serious new ideas. As a trained facilitator in Innovation Games, I have conducted more than 50 “play” sessions with clients in healthcare. Now more than ever before, healthcare organizations realize they must find innovative solutions to solve problems better and faster, involve employees in improvement efforts, incentivize their teams to create solutions that reduce costs and add benefits and sustain internal morale and employee satisfaction.
Play games to get some real work done. Very often, the big ideas come from employees, customers and partners…people who, once their minds are freed by play, are amazed at the ideas that bubble up. These ideas then intersect with others’ ideas and form new ways to “see, feel and think” about their organization.
Recently, a healthcare organization’s staff was struggling with the FUGs, even if they were loath to admit it. A previous workshop showed the innovations they came up with and the transformations necessary to execute them were languishing. However, on a recent innovation gym retreat, playing games completely freed their mind and enabled them to create an entirely new business model and highly innovative approaches to adapt to a changing market space. Yes, playing games works!
Some games promote discovery and others let ideas morph into new shapes and forms. Particularly when you are tackling the FUGs, games and serious play serve as crucial solution strategies simply because people love to play. They relax, their brains stop fighting new ideas, and they realize there are no right or wrong answers.
So don’t waste another minute—start playing!
To read Dr. Simon’s FierceHealthcare article in its entirety, click here.