President's Message - The Art of Innovation

by Charlene Hope, PharmD, MS, BCPS, ICHP President
January 17, 2017

This year at the Annual Leadership Retreat we did something a little different to get the attendees into the innovation mindset. Instead of selecting a book to read, we created a TED Talks playlist of videos that was shared with the group for discussion. If you are not familiar with TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design), it is non-profit organization devoted to spreading ideas usually in the form of short presentations lasting 18 minutes or less by the world’s movers and shakers.

As we start this New Year and keep in mind this year’s theme of innovation, I wanted to share with you some of the highlights of these TED Talks. The great thing about these videos is that they are relatively short, and you can watch (or listen) to one easily during a lunch break, while waiting in a long line or even on your commute to work. When you get the chance, listen to one or all of them!

In the first video, Guy Kawasaki, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, shares his ten steps to innovating in “The Art of Innovation.” Of the ten steps, the one that resonated with me most was #4 “Roll the DICEE,” which are the five qualities of great innovation:
  1. Deep – having many features and great design and personality
  2. Intelligent – the ease of which the user identifies the problem the innovation was created to solve
  3. Complete – the totality of the product from the inside and out
  4. Empowering – great products make the user feel powerful, more creative and productive and enhance the meaning of your life
  5. Elegant – taking care to ensure a beautiful and functional user interface
DICEE provides a framework that places you in the perspective of the consumer of any new product or service you may be creating for your department.

The next talk gives a great overview of the differences between the generations. In “Creating a culture of collaborative innovation,” Claire Madden entertains us with how Baby Boomers through Generation Z see the world and their contributions to the workforce of today and tomorrow. She makes the case for creating an environment where a diverse community of multi-generational, multi-cultural, multi-skilled people can come together and draw on the strength of this diversity and their shared values.  She also speaks to the role of technology as a platform for creating new connections and fostering contribution as well as consumption.

In “Igniting creativity to transform corporate culture,” Catherine Courage challenges us to rethink our own personal capacity for creative thinking. She states, “Creativity is a birthright…available to all, but used by few.” She also shares her top three strategies of how we can foster creativity within our own work spaces:
  1. Create environments, like that from our childhood learning environments – open, colorful, unstructured seating supplied with blank canvases for writing, sketching and brainstorming
  2. Encourage and embrace a mindset of experimentation, improving ideas through multiple iterations
  3. Develop our storytelling skills to inspire emotion by touching the hearts and minds of those that we are working with.  Try this the next time you create a PowerPoint slide deck for your next meeting – drop in a slide of picture and take that time to share a short story that will bring context to the data you present.

The final video of the morning was “How to get your ideas to spread” by Seth Godin. Although it was first presented about 13 years ago, he shares many key marketing concepts that are still relevant today.  He challenges us to create services and products that are “remarkable” – something that this worth making a remark about. And who defines what is remarkable? The consumer! He also shares the concept of Otaku, a Japanese term for those who have extreme passion for something that is unique or special. The attendees of the leadership retreat liked this idea of Otaku and spent some time discussing what the Otaku of ICHP could be.  

Whether you are seeking to create new pharmacy services or taking your current services to the next level, there are a lot of great ideas that you can gain from watching and discussing these videos. For those who attended the retreat, the videos generated a lot of energy and great ideas of how we can innovate and take ICHP to the next level.

Which one these videos inspired you? If any of these videos generated ideas on how we as ICHP can provide more value to your membership, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to contact me at

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