Redefining Success: Designing To Adapt In 21st Century Healthcare

Written by Dr. John Kenagy and posted on website on November, 24, 2017

Modern Healthcare has problems, and that’s our opportunity.

  1. All healthcare organizations are under pressure to maintain financial stability and some can’t. What if you had financial strength?
  2. A recent survey reported 85% of patients and providers say healthcare costs are disproportionate to What if your patients said, “My care is a great value!”
  3. Ninety-six percent of patients believe U.S. healthcare has problems. What if your patients said, “My healthcare system solves my problems!”
  4. An astonishing 80% of patients say their health has not improved in the last year. What if your patients said, “I have access to the Best Care! My health is improving! I can afford it and I love it!”

None of our great Centers of Excellence (CoE) can provide more access to the Best Care at continually lower cost. What if your organization differentiated itself by doing exactly that? You would become a Center of Value and Excellence (CoVE) and have competitive advantage in 21st Century healthcare.

How would that happen? I’ll explain… what is the surest path to success, 1 or 2?

  1. Management ideas, best practices, projects, consultants and technologies?
  2. Adaptive learning and internal innovation?

Most identify #1 as important, but see the key to redefining success is #2. Here’s why: most management ideas, best practices and technologies are readily available to be copied and implemented, and consultants will be overjoyed to have you pay them to do it.

Therefore, adaptive learning and internal innovation are your key sources of differentiation and competitive advantageSo, here’s what to do and not do…

  1. Don’t buy solutions! Our current system is perfectly designed to deliver all our woes. It’s a system problem to solve with no quick fix. We all have intelligent, talented, skilled, committed people. Why not empower them to create system solutions? Use Adaptive Design: the continuous improvement Operating System.
  1. Don’t Implement Best Practices! Multiply the power of your people and resources to develop your own new best practices. The goal is not to copy; it’s to be copied. That’s the objective of the Adaptive Design Online Learning System.
  1. Don’t do big, expensive projects! Think small, simple and safe; then, learn and In Adaptive Design, it’s one unit or service line (the Learning Line) that creates your first Center of Value and Excellence (CoVE).
  1. Don’t use consultants or technology except to solve specific, technical problems! Adaptive Design empowers your people (Learner/Leader/Teachers) to redesign the work, deliver the opportunity and then systematically replicate and scale
  1. Don’t implement solutions! Instead, leadership sets direction with a clear, consistent, meaningful Purpose (Ideal Patient Care), and then uses four simple rules to drive continuous improvement as part of everyone’s daily 

For example, an Adaptive Design Learning Line in a Midwestern community hospital just increased their HCAHPS scores 107%, and improved their Balanced Scorecard results from lowest to highest in the hospital, all in less than six months.

That’s success redefined: low risk, high reward, fast.

Adaptive Design Has “Teal” Characteristics

Many people sense that the way healthcare is run today has been stretched to the limits. And it’s not just a healthcare problem.

“In survey after survey, business people make it clear that in their view, companies are places of dread and drudgery, not passion or purpose. Further, it applies not to just the powerless at the bottom of the hierarchy. Beyond a façade of success, many top leaders are tired of the power games and infighting; despite their desperately overloaded schedules, they feel a vague sense of emptiness.”

This a quote form The Future of Management is Teal; a fascinating history of the evolution of human organizations from 10,000 years ago to the present day by Frederic Laloux in Strategy+Business.

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Patient Safety linking KB Core Technology to Adaptive Design

How To Reduce the Cost of Harm and Impact the Bottom Line
Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Panelist Information:
Douglas Dotan, President and founding partner of CRG Medical, Inc.
Quang Ngo, MPH, PMP, TORCH Foundation President/CEO
Anngail Smith, MS, Vice President of Operations at CRG Medical, Inc.
John Kenagy, M.D., MPA, of Kenagy & Associates, creator of the Adaptive Design system

Description: On January 1, 2015 the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) will require all hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers to submit to it reports of potentially preventable adverse events (PAEs). The Continue reading

Deconstructing Disruption

Listen to the discussion live on Friday, August 15, 2014

1-2 pm EST (10am PST)

Guests: Peter Jones, David Hurst and John Kenagy

The concept of disruptive innovation was developed by Harvard business scholar Clayton Christensen, and the term has become ubiquitous. Harvard historian Jill Lepore wrote in a recent New Yorker article that the theory is founded on apocalyptic fear of financial collapse, global devastation and shaky evidence, and debate erupted in scholarly and business circles. Does innovation need disruption, and what exactly is disruption?

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Steve Jobs didn’t disrupt, he adapted. So should healthcare.

Written by Lindsey Dunn on July 30, 2014 on Becker’s Hospital Review, The Daily Beat Blog

Healthcare is poised for disruption, and if the leading theory on disruptive innovation holds true, the leading organizations in the industry today will not be the ones to bring about that disruption.

But as I’ve written previously on this blog, that doesn’t mean all existing organizations will perish. In fact, as I read more on Clay Christensen’s theory of disruption and change management in general, the less I believe in the idea of ‘disrupt or die.’

The industry will no doubt be disrupted, but it’s false to believe that all but the disruptor will be relegated to failure.

Instead, those that succeed and those that fail will be distinguished by one thing: how they adapt in the face of disruption.

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Fireworks: The Disruption of Disruptive Innovation?

The fireworks in business journalism started before the Fourth this year when the New Yorker published Jill Lepore’s article The Disruption Machine: What the Gospel of Innovation Gets Wrong. Here’s a summary:

Coined by Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen, “Disruptive Innovation” and “Disruptive Technology” have become synonymous with business innovation “chic, cool, cutting edge and in-the-know.” So, if you are not on the Disruptive Innovation bandwagon, you are just not in tune with the times.

Then Jill Lepore’s article hit the newsstands with the clear intent to skewer Disruptive Innovation, roast it on a hot fire and send the charred remains to the well-populated graveyard of tired business ideas and tacky clichés. Her article has inspired a fusillade of commentary, e.g.:

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TOP5 Speaker Award Nominations 2014!

Speakers Platform has announced Dr. John Kenagy as a “Top5 Speaker” nominee in the healthcare category for 2014!

Each year they recognize five speakers within ten popular topic areas. Recognition of excellence in speaking is based on:  expertise, professionalism, innovation within the topic area, client testimonials and references, presentation skills.

 Online voting will decide the final Top5 honorees.
Vote for Dr. Kenagy at!!

The final Top5 honorees will be announced on January 21st, 2014.

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The New Story: Insights into How to Thrive in Healthcare

Originally printed in the September 16, 2013 issue of “FYA, For Your Advantage”, a publication from TrendLeader Connections. 

John Kenagy, MD, and David Westfall have spent years collaborating on organizational and leadership innovation.  Both are thought leaders in innovation and product development.

David’s career has blended the fast pace of technology, research, and new product innovation in industries spanning technology, healthcare, service, and non-profits.  He has worked for leading organizations such as Intel and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and he currently is helping to lead innovation efforts at Aon-Hewitt.

John invited David to join him in dialogue For Your Advantage. Continue reading

What’s Your Healthcare Value Proposition?

I wrote a short commentary some weeks ago on change. The gist was that people doing “change management” often focus on making the change, but forget that changes are choices.  Adaptive Design facilitates change because it makes choices easier and safer. In addition, Adaptive Design specifies that those making the choice must also maximize benefits and minimize any negative effects of the choice.  It’s the “3-M’s.”[1]  Continue reading