Leadership to Advance Innovation for Digital Healthcare Transformation

Leadership to Advance Innovation for Digital Healthcare Transformation

Mohan Rao Tanniru (University of Arizona, USA), Youmin Xi (Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, China & Xi'an Jiaotong University, China) and Kamaljeet Sandhu (University of New England, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2799-3.ch001
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Complexity theory argues for bounded instability to allow organizations to run operations at a regular speed while also allowing them to explore innovations at a faster speed in support of digital transformation. HeXie management theory uses a mix of systems engineering and holism to argue for a theme around which empowered employees can explore and couple the dividends from such explorations to the organizational vision and mission. Authors integrate these two theories and multiple leadership processes (administrative, enabling, and adaptive) around four guiding principles: alignment around theme, dynamism of employees, transitiveness of dividends, and adaptiveness to support organizational growth and capacity building. These principles are used to discuss how digital leadership has guided healthcare transformation both inside and outside a hospital in multiple use cases, thus providing insight for thought leadership in digital health.
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The competitive environment that organizations are facing today is influenced by choices for the adoption (Rogers 1995) of different modern technologies and evolving customer expectations that can have an impact on business processes. New models require leadership for digital business transformation which are continuously being modernized to address gaps in the delivery of customer value created to challenge new digital competitors online having superior technologies for instant service delivery with minimum or no human interactions. The essential notion of ‘time-based service management’ which was a critical factor in earlier studies (Rockhart 1982, 1979; Rockart and Van Bullen 1986) for business, is now based on service on demand by customers and instant delivery of services via the internet in ‘real time’. Therefore, organisation are now competing for instant delivery of services in real time which is a critical deciding factor for the customers- how and where such services can be used, which also provides flexibility in customer choices. The generic term “organization” is used to refer to both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, as well as both product and service organizations. The traditional use of a top down approach to developing strategies that address vision and mission, and filtering these down to lower tiers to influence policy and operational level decision making, is too slow to address the rapid changes occurring today outside the organizational ecosystem. In fact, academic and practitioner discussion on leadership is calling for alternative approaches to developing strategies. These approaches include bringing cross-industry thinking (e.g. bringing a new CEO from a different industry segment to infuse fresh ideas (Sylvers, 2019)) and broadening the performance metrics from near term to longer term (e.g. move from shareholders to stakeholders, including customers and suppliers (Ramey, 2019)).

Both these approaches implicitly recognize the need for leadership today to address fast-changing customer expectations and the multitude of external competitors who are willing to address these expectations. This demonstrates that markets are driven by customers who are very knowledgeable and aware of different information to make decisions. In this context leadership is becoming an essential factor for modern digital environment, in which a technology is used to create different business models to address customer expectations and drive growth in new and existing markets (Chan, 2018). In fact, the role CEOs and CDOs (Chief digital officers) is being debated as organizations engage in digital transformations to address the complex market dynamic (Siebel, 2017, Tumbus et al, 2017). Much of the discussion on digital transformation (i.e. organizational transformation in the digital age) is focused on organizations build agility to adapt for changes that can quickly improve inner business structure and streamline process delivery. Such agility may come from creating two different organizational models (one to run at a regular speed and the other to run at a faster speed) (Bossart et al, 2014), using best practices (Ivancis et al 2019)). using a mix of internal and external resources to design and develop services to address value gaps (Lusch and Nambisan, 2015), or even rethinking and shaping the organization around the value it creates or co-creates with its customer using evolving business models (Weiland, et al, 2018). The premise behind all this thinking is the need to balance the organization’s effort to seek stability and growth with the instability that arises when the changing ecosystem from outside the organization demands continual innovation and adaption to create value for the customer.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Digital Leadership: Enabling leadership that explores innovations needed to support of digital transformation.

Xie Principle (XP): Refers to rules and propositions used to reduce uncertainty through scientific design and optimization.

HeXie Theme: A direction organization takes by translating “objective constraints” of a situation it faces in its environment.

Leadership Process: Processes used by leaders to address problems by working together and moving the organization toward a desired outcome.

HeXie Management Theory: An integration of Eastern and Western cultures and wisdom to address complex issues organizations face in uncertain environments.

Use Case Modeling: Illustrates how an individual customer service need or decision-making situation is supported by an organization with the use of people and processes.

Digital Transformation: Organizational transformation in digital age, where market demands are driven by advances in information technologies.

Digital Health: Stands for the use of advanced technology in the healthcare delivery and the technologies can refer to devices or services provided by healthcare professionals.

Organizational Capacity Building: Building an organization’s ability to address changes in its environment using agile processes, organizational structure, and governance.

He Principle (HP): An adaptive mechanism arising from organizational members’ initiative and self-determination to innovate.

Care Delivery Models: Models used to describe diagnostic and/or treatment services used by providers to address the needs of patients or healthcare consumers inside or outside a hospital.

Dividends: Values derived by an organization through innovation exploration and these range from those that reduce organizational barriers, support a culture of innovation, or help organization meet its performance objectives.

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