Business: Innovation starts with the heart, not the head

Here's an article by Gary Hamel in the Harvard Business Review, that I'd like to share with you and that illustrates how love can be a key, not just in our private lives, or in music and art, or even when employed in a caring profession. Finally busniesses are realizing that it's fundamentally human and necessary to everyone of us. And it pays!

I recently got a call from a CEO of a health system that encompasses several hospitals, medical practices, and clinics. Lakeland Health employs about 4,000 associates and takes in nearly $500 million per year. Its facilities are spread across the southwest corner of Michigan — where median income is 70% of the national average and the incidence of chronic diseases is substantially higher than the norm. It's a challenging environment in which to be a healthcare provider.

The CEO knew I was a fan of passion-fueled innovation and thought he had a story I'd find inspiring, hence the call. A year earlier he had taken up his new post at Lakeland. Shortly thereafter, he had called a meeting to review patient satisfaction scores. U.S. hospitals have to report this data to the federal government, and if they fall below certain thresholds, they pay a penalty in reduced reimbursement rates. Given that, the CEO was distressed to learn that when it came to patient satisfaction, Lakeland was a laggard — with scores between the 25th and 50th percentile. How could this be?

His senior team told him it wasn't for lack of trying...