Design thinking fails to address complex system problems: What can it do better?
1 Comment February 24, 2017
Design thinkers face particular challenges when seeking to intervene to improve value and outcomes in complex adaptive ecosystems such as cities, health and social care, education, energy, food production and distribution, the built and natural environment and development. In such systems, the root causes of problems and the origins of poor outcomes are often hard to identify and difficult to address due to their nested, interconnected and dynamic nature, as well as the fact that they consist of a diversity of humans, technologies and resources whose actions and effects are not wholly predictable.
Why is it becoming harder to address complex health problems?
1 Comment October 19, 2016
Complex health problems persist because we are using problem-solving approaches that are increasingly ineffective to address them. The logic, assumptions and innovation practices in popular use today are incapable of making a significant difference.
Natural ecosystems: A primer for health and other socio-technical systems design
1 Comment October 02, 2016
The ecosystems metaphor can help us to get much deeper and closer to the heart of complex health problems, provide new understanding of their dynamic nature and most importantly, help us to design and intervene with better solutions. It also reveals new opportunities for changing status quo practices and for transforming health ecosystems altogether, rather than merely improving them incrementally. To know how to do so, we must literally go back to nature and first understand more deeply the concept and functioning of natural ecosystems.
From Chief Executive to Chief Ecosystem Officer: The new leaders of innovation
1 Comment September 04, 2016
An ecosystem perspective means that organisations that conceive, design, deliver and intervene with novel health technologies and services must consider themselves to be organisms too. And their leaders must become a new kind of CEO - the Chief Ecosystem Officer. They must adapt and shape their innovation and strategy capabilities and processes as well as organisational structure to align with an ecosystem view of their purpose, function and value; they must open out and engage with other ecosystem actors particularly patients; they must adopt more collaborative and advanced problem-learning capabilities with them and they must assess and plan for the wider effects of their value-propositions beyond immediate users or customers. Their organisations must be more adaptive and designed for ongoing evolution.
Making Design Thinking Work in Complex Ecosystems
1 Comment June 23, 2016
Whilst the practice of “build-test-fail-learn-iterate” can lead to elegant innovation and superior user experiences in relatively simple, linear 1:1 company-customer markets such as consumer goods or tech, in markets characterised by many stakeholders with often competing interests, design thinking is less effective.
The pitfalls of solution-bias in health innovation
1 Comment May 20, 2016
Health innovators need to choose the right units of analysis to guide the innovation task. Thinking about solutions or committing to one too soon, before gathering full evidence of health system priorities, unmet multi-stakeholder needs and unrealised outcomes introduces unnecessary risk, iteration, delay and cost. Worst of all, it can lead to failure.
Health capability and capability gaps
1 Comment February 11, 2016
At UMIO, we state that the purpose of health innovation is to improve priority outcomes for an important health goal by resolving health system and capability gaps. In this blog, we explore what we mean by health capability gaps and how they can be deployed as an effective unit of analysis to guide the innovation effort.
Big Data will not drive innovation
1 Comment October 01, 2014
It's that time of year when online commentators offer their insights on what we can expect to be big in healthcare during the coming twelve months. Even a casual glance at the latest entries informs us that Big Data is something that health and medical device and technology companies should ignore at their peril.