Checklist How to Avoid the Innovation Summertime Blues | Mercer US

Checklist How to Avoid the Innovation Summertime Blues

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Checklist How to Avoid the Innovation Summertime Blues
Calendar20 June 2016

Wow, it’s June already. Kids are playing outside, the smell of barbeque is in the air, and some of us, just maybe, are feeling the onset of the innovation summertime blues. What, you’ve never heard of this particular brand of the blues? Let me paint a picture and maybe it will look familiar.

You’d been hearing about all these new startups and innovations in the healthcare market, and one or maybe two of them caught your attention. So you took the plunge, and now you’re in the midst of planning a pilot or even a full blown rollout. But three to six weeks in, what you’re feeling now is “Wow, this is a lot of work! Is this all worth it?” or “Hmmm…this isn’t all that I expected. Seems like there’s some vaporware here that needs to be built before launch.” 

Those, my friends, are the innovation summertime blues! The initial buzz and excitement has worn off and the real work, some of it pure drudgery, has begun. But take heart. Here are six tips to help battle this summer affliction:

  • Preview your innovation with some potential employee users. Those who love the product will recharge your energy with fresh perspective…and those who are critics may push you harder to try to win them over.
  • Become a real user of the product. If you really kick the tires on the system, you’ll reduce unpleasant surprises – like finding out that something you assumed was part of the product suite or service model, isn’t.
  • Talk to other employers who have already rolled out the program. Hear what went well and what didn’t and see if there are learnings that you can apply.
  • Put together contingency plans. What if user engagement is lower than your targets? (First off, what are those initial targets?)  Do you have a plan (and potentially budget) to address low engagement? On the flip side, what if engagement is higher than expected? (One can dream…it has been known to happen!) If there is too much stress on the system, what’s Plan B? You can only foresee so much, but scenario planning can minimize anxiety beforehand and improve your response to problems afterwards.
  • And last but not least, breathe! All these bumps in the road and challenges are supposed to happen – it’s the nature of innovation! In any case, before you know it, fall will be here and you’ll be in the thick of open enrollment. At least the kids will be back in school. :)

This post is part of our 2017 Planning Checklist series.

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