CareMore

One of CareMore’s critical insights was the application of an old systems-management principle first developed at Bell Labs in the 1930s and refined by the management guru W. Edwards Deming in the 1950s: you can fix a problem at step one for $1, or fix it at step 10 for $30. The American health-care system is repair-centric, not prevention-centric. We wait for train wrecks and then clean up the damage. What would happen if we prevented the train wrecks in the first place? The doctors at CareMore decided to find out.

CareMore is awesome. Healthcare delivery doesn’t suffer from a shortage of ideas, or even a shortage of ideas that work, it suffers from unwillingness. I love when interventions that demand more staff and more tools and more effort work. By “work” I mean financially beneficial to providers. Sooner or later the powers that be will know it too and the incentives will begin to shift.

Sustainable Life Media:

Whole Foods Market is moving into the preventative health care market, testing membership-only “Wellness Clubs” in five US markets over the next three months.

Members will pay a one-time fee of $199 and monthly dues of $45. In exchange they can attend classes on nutrition, health and cooking, and receive 10% discounts on 1,000 healthy food items in the store.

If the test period is successful, Whole Foods says it will expand the program to 10 more markets in 2012 before going national in 2013. (The company has 310 stores nationwide.)

I have this suspicion that healthcare delivery organizations are going to look at this five years from now and wonder how they got beat on “wellness.” The reason will be one that this economic spate has made popular: out-innovated by those willing to think differently. A wellness focus makes little economic sense at this moment. But it will. It will.

Conviction-driven thinkers

Doreen Lorenzo:

Conviction-driven thinkers on all levels of an organization, from the C-suite to executive assistants, want to share their specific visions more than they seek fame or power. They don’t just think they have a good idea, but they believe passionately that their concept is worth making real. The beauty of these types of thinkers (and doers) is that they can explain why they want to develop the products they’re developing, and why they want to launch initiatives that they’re launching—both internally and to the world. Even when their ideas might not be the most original (remember, the Kindle was not the first e-reader; the iPod was not the first MP3 player; Google was not the first search engine; Facebook was not the first social network), their passion and their vision on how to improve the world or even the everyday quality of life in your company’s workspace are likely focused. They are likely engaged. As a result, they can be very persuasive. Such a mixture of focus, engagement, and persuasion, more than creativity alone, is what brings ideas to market, and also to the right audiences at the right time.