Other Industries Are At Risk Of Being Disrupted, Challenging Their Existence,
But We Are Protected Because The Healthcare Industry Isn’t Vulnerable (Lesson 9)

As we touched on in Article One, disruption can occur in any industry at any time. In fact, the most vulnerable industries are typically the most traditional.

Innovative disruption can occur anywhere. And once the ball starts rolling, there is really no way to stop it.

Within healthcare, the need for different or competing service is always going to be there. It’s simply that patients don’t have a way to properly articulate to you exactly what they want. If they did, organisations would be able to continuously improve and stay ahead of the disruption wave.

However, even without your patients articulating their needs, who says you can’t get out in front of that wave? And what’s stopping you from doing it?

Leaving Your Legacy

The reluctance to create change boils down to one thing: Where’s the incentive?

Why not just keep on doing the same things that you’re doing right now? After all, you’re still going to receive your pay cheque next week, and next month, and probably next year.

Disruption will occur. In fact, it may well occur in a relatively short period of time. However, because many healthcare leaders are only on three-year contracts, the time period that disruption is likely to occur within is not short enough to make things really uncomfortable for leaders.

Even if inaction may not do the organisation that much good in the long term, if there is little or no personal risk to just letting things stumble along the same path, it can be easy to shrug your shoulders and go with it. Things might not be perfect, but if it sort of works then why would throwing everything up in the air seem like a good idea?

There is one major incentive to creating disruption that most leaders miss. That incentive is your legacy.

We’ve all heard about executives who leave on a downturn. Even when they are considered to be the worst executives, and it’s widely acknowledged that they drove the organisation into the ground, they are still likely to get another gig. So, on the surface it would seem there is no harm in them being labelled as a poor leader.

On the flip side, if you create disruption in your own organisation and become a truly innovative person, you don’t need to just hop from board role to board role. You will become sought after as the best in the game. People will quickly see that what you did was incredible for your organisation.

They will have watched you go from stride to stride. They will have seen you stay the course over a period of several years, instead of jumping ship after three. They will have witnessed you make the organisation billions and yourself millions. They will have noted that you go above and beyond whatever you were originally brought in to do.

Once people have seen you achieve all this, your legacy is extraordinary. You become a change expert around difference and disruption and innovation. Instead of just being one of the pack, you are the best. The leader.

At this point, it’s no longer just about the organisation. It’s about that amazing ability to prove worth and wealth, more than just tick and flick.

Become Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable

You can continue to play with the edges and continue to do the things that will, as a known quantity, make the money you’re expecting. Or you can do something completely different. You can become comfortable with being uncomfortable.

After all, what have you got to lose if you’re on a short tenure anyway?

The risk is really mitigated up front. The worst thing that can happen is you may need to step out early. So, although there may be a risk, there is no real potential for loss. But there is plenty to gain.

By being the disruptor and trying something that can build a massive legacy, you can become an expert in your industry. In reality, if you don’t do everything you can to innovate and create change, then you’re not actually leading anything. You’re just a caretaker.