Technology is changing at a rapid pace, so what does this mean for those developing business strategies attempting to keep ahead of the curve?
Steven Weber PhD, Professor at Berkeley Haas School of Business, will put your mind at ease in his joint class with Heath 2.0 EDU this October. His years of expertise with national and international security strategy will provide health care executives the foundation and insights they need for the future of digital health.
EDU: Your background is in international and national security. What are the parallels between security and health care? How does security factor into how an organization implements new innovations?
SW: My work in national and international security has always focused on strategic interaction — how the agendas and actions of one country modify the landscape of choices for another country. It’s a historical pattern, almost a constant, that national leaders have a very difficult time understanding these strategic responses because they find it almost impossible to see the trade-offs that they impose on others, from the other’s perspective. And since strategy is almost always about modulating trade-offs, the most important thing a great strategist can do is to change the trade-off calculation for other players in the environment. My guiding principle is simply this: “make it as easy as possible, for the ‘other guy’ to do what would most benefit you.” Putting that simple notion into practice is the hardest and most important ingredient of innovative strategy.
EDU: You have also consulted for numerous public, private, and international organizations: how are they each using digital technology to foster innovation?
SW: Innovation means many different things to different people. When I say ‘innovation’, I mean the use of ideas, both new and recombinant, in the service of creating new value. Digital technology can obviously be a major driver of innovation because digital is very good at encoding ideas [rather than throwing] new resources at an old problem. But I think the most important contribution of digital technology to the innovation agenda is in creating transparency within organizations. The kind of transparency that matters? Exposing dead conventions, old and encrusted ways of doing things that have been around so long that no one puts a question mark over them anymore.