Friday, March 14, 2008

Clinical Innovation, Harvard - Six Myths About Physician Creativity

Today I received the March 2008 Harvard Business School Alumni Bulletin. I spent 8 weeks at HBS once – just enough time to make me dangerous. This issue sports an article, “Innovation, Inc.” The article lists six myths about creativity in organizations. These myths apply to physician groups.

Creativity Comes from Creative Types – Not necessarily. Creativity depends on experience, knowledge, technical skills, talent, and the ability to think in new ways. To encourage creativity in physician groups, appointing a Chief Innovation Officer (a nurse, doctor, practice manager) and holding periodic brain storming sessions may help foster creativity.

Money is a Creativity Motivator - Money isn’t everything. Most doctors don’t think about money on a day-to-day basis, and it doesn’t drive new ideas.

Time Pressure Forces Creativity - Actually creativity goes down under pressure. Creativity requires time to think, concentrate on a problem, and let the ideas bubble up.

• Fear Forces Breakthroughs – Not so. Creativity comes when people are excited about their work. Often creativity strikes overnight after an exciting day at the office. One day’s excitement predicts the next day’s creativity.

• Competition Beats Collaboration - Nonsense. The most creative groups are those that share ideas and don’t compete for recognition.

A Streamlined Organization is a Creative Organization - Not in the opinion of HBS. They say a stable work environment in a group that is doing well fosters a sense of freedom and autonomy and lets ideas flourish.

1 comment:

Bernardino said...

Great ideas. I've translated and commented it in our blog ( about training in Family Medicine in Spain.