Future Makers: Abdi Ibrahim Innovation Day 2021

January 21, 2022 at Volkswagen Arena, Istanbul, Turkey (with public livestream)

Innovators are the Future Makers

Innovation has shifted from technology obsession to human ingenuity, from meeting customers needs to creating better futures.

Challenge 1: Seize the opportunity of change

  • Change as opportunity: Exploring a rapidly shifting world
  • Riding with the megatrends: Finding the best opportunities for you
  • Exploring the new agendas: What will matter most to your audiences and you?

Challenge 2: Innovate your market, not just your business

  • Tech gets exponential: Accelerating the applications of networked technologies
  • New market and business models: Reimagining how things work
  • Disrupt the disruptors: Harness your own strengths

Challenge 3: Be curious, be creative, be courageous

  • Start from the future back: Don’t look backwards, jump to the future
  • Think from the outside in: Think like a customer, like a entrepreneur
  • Have the courage to dare: Now is the time to step up, to be more, to make a difference.

How to reimagine the future of healthcare?

Today’s healthcare system is essentially a “sickcare” system.

While there has been huge progress on medical diagnosis and treatments, care delivery hasn’t significantly changed structurally. It’s still largely bricks and mortar where people who are sick or acutely ill come to be seen and treated by medically trained people in surgeries and hospitals.

It was designed in an era when telephones were wired, knowledge shared in books. It was never designed without the imagination of the global organisations, remote technologies and personalised data. It was never designed to deal with the huge growth of chronic disease which now represents well over 80% of all healthcare spend.

Today if someone doesn’t feel well, they may see their GP – and probably more likely a phone call in Covid times –  get an appointment with a hospital specialist, have tests or scans, have those results looked at, and then receive the necessary treatment. This can take a long time.

Start with the consumer, the patient …

Take a look at other consumer industries. Start from the perspective of the patient. How can we help the patient understand the drivers that impact their chronic condition better so they can play a more active role in managing it. This could be getting involved in health rather than just sickness, supporting and coaching them in relation to their sleeping, eating, smoking, drinking and exercise as well as all aspects of managing their condition properly, such as adherence to medication. The aim is to proactively keep them well rather than react when they become ill.

It’s not just telling them what to do (most people who smoke know that it’s bad for their health), it’s truly engaging them, providing them with smart technology so they can closely monitor themselves. They can have devices that will constantly measure the likes of their heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, weight or activity levels.

This data can be streamed from their device or smartphone app, and processed through algorithms that show how their health is evolving. Patterns created can show that intervention is needed or this person might, for example, be at risk of a stroke or a fall. Both the person and remote-care team can monitor their health. Patients can be engaged through social networks, competitions and games. “Care Hubs” can act like a flight control centre, looking at the health of their population, based on a combination of streaming information from the patients and the health records they keep. These hubs could help patients whose data indicates the need of support, either by a two-way video consultation or a visit.

We’re essentially talking about a 24-hour connection between the patient and those monitoring them. Chronic patients have to live with the condition 24/7, so the care should reflect that.

Imagine a different future …

Imagine a future where a GP uses their tablet ultrasound to make a movie of a patient’s beating heart. When irregularities are noted, the GP shares this immediately with a cardiologist to diagnose the patient and set up a care plan there and then. There’s no need to make an appointment in weeks or months – the issue can be dealt with in real-time. This is what we have become accustomed to when booking flights, doing our finances or shopping online.

It’s a world where someone with a chronic condition has all their vital data streamed to their care team who will probably know before the patient does that someone needs to step in to provide support or treatment.

Patients will still need specialists with expert knowledge, but the patient and specialist don’t need to be in the same space at the same time. A network of connected care means several experts can look at the case simultaneously. This would enable the early diagnosis of health issues by constant monitoring before they become more serious.

This will be normal practice within 10 years. The idea of maintaining people’s wellbeing rather than reacting to an episode makes sense. It will be hard changing a system that is hard-wired to be more reactive, but that’s how it will be in the future.

How will you recode your innovation?

Innovation in most companies is still mostly about products and services, whereas innovation has most impact when applied to business models and customer experiences. We therefore focus on business innovation, driven by your purpose and opportunity, and by thinking hard about what is the problem we are trying to solve, and the impact we want to make. Innovation is therefore particularly about five important factors, looking across the whole business to open up, and then close down:

  • Design thinking – embracing “insight” to understand the deeper motivations and aspirations of customers, through deep-dive immersion with individuals, connecting analytics with observation and intuition. Design thinking is about better defining the challenge – problem, opportunity – then being more human, creative and real in solving it.
  • Making connections – fusing ideas to create richer “concepts”, but also learning from other places, from “parallel” markets where the same customers are already embracing change and new ideas, and then applying to your own market, as a pioneer. Connecting initial ideas into concepts makes them stronger and more distinctive.
  • Creative disruption – how to be different, to challenge the conventions, break the rules, and redefine the markets in a different way – for example by technological simplification, or new customer behaviour. This creates rethinking – changing the who, why, what and how – and can potentially recalibrate the market.
  • New business models – more dramatic and sustainable innovation usually involves changing the way the business works – in particular through new partnerships, and creating new revenue streams built around a strong value proposition at the core – this focuses on value propositions and business model design.
  • Accelerating action – facilitating your best ideas to market better and faster, through challenge and support, bringing your best people together, adding external ideas to internal expertise, and disciplined process. This includes “lean thinking” techniques from minimal viable products, prototyping and then vortex market adoption.

Here’s some of the ideas from my new book Business Recoded:

5 questions to get started:

  • Find your ingenuity … What would make your ideas more ingenious?
  • Designer mindset … How can you get deeper insight into function and form?
  • Customer agendas … What are the significant shifts in your consumers minds?
  • Faster experiments … How could you solve problems better and faster together?
  • Moonshot thinking … What is a “10x not 10%” goal for your business?