It can be challenging to think outside the box when you are surrounded by people who think exactly like you do. As industries become more and more competitive, it becomes increasingly difficult to come up with new ways of thinking and innovative ideas. However, by looking outside of your own industry for inspiration, you can find creative solutions that will set you apart from the competition.
Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) is a specialist children’s hospital in London renowned for its cardiac care. It had previously struggled with the handoff process when transferring patients between complex medical procedures. Dr. Martin Elliot and Dr. Allan Goldman, Head of Cardiac Surgery and Head of Pediatric Intensive Care, respectively, studied professionals from a completely different area of expertise who extremely proficient in the process of handoffs – the pit crew of Ferrari’s Formula One racing team.
GOSH doctors and the Ferrari pit crew worked collaboratively at Maranello, the British Grand Prix and the hospital’s operating room in an unthinkable combination of minds. The pit crew were shocked at the lack of leadership and high-level of error when dealing with handoffs. Surprisingly, they noted the level of noise as a possible distraction to the overall process. Ferrari pit crews operate in silence, despite and because of the significant sound of the engines. Such ‘tricks’ like these were considered wisdom in racing but completely game-changing on a hospital floor. The hospital redesigned it’s processes and immediately reduced errors significantly.
Creativity is often thought of as something that comes naturally. However, the truth is that creativity is a skill that can be learned and improved upon. To become more creative, you need to be open to new ideas and willing to experiment.
The pandemic and last two years have raised challenges in conventional understanding and ways of operating for leaders and organisations. The quickest way for companies to make sense of new challenges they are seeing for the first time is by looking into unrelated fields. Why gamble on untested strategies and insights if you can quickly apply strategies and insights that are already proven elsewhere? That’s how leaders can help their colleagues continue learning as fast as the world is changing.