Whole is greater than the sum of its parts

Eureka means “I found it!” and was the phrase that Archimedes exclaimed after discovering that the volume of water that ascends is equal to the volume of the submerged body.

While Archimedes may have single handedly discovered the principle of buoyancy, the same cannot be said for innovations from the wheel to the iPhone.  These inventions and innovations were led by collective thinking and group dynamics rather than any individual effort.

The IMD “Innovation Lab” is a testimonial to this same fundamental of group work and interdisciplinary approach to drive creativity and innovation. This week-long lab is about discovery, problem solving & learning. The overall objective of this lab is to help us gain experience with design thinking, learn the habits of successful innovators and find solutions to critical problems in the field of healthcare, with a focus towards untapped patient engagement with physicians and hospitals.  In this journey, IMD is collaborating with the ECal and EPFL to create mixed teams of students who will together combine their business, design & technology dimensions to jointly crack the 2018 Debiopharm Inartis Challenge.

Popular wisdom may suggest that a diverse team is a recipe for success, however it cannot be the only ingredient. Along with complimentary skills, it is almost mandatory to have a shared purpose, chemistry and a willingness to work with each other for a minimum viable team(product).  This week is not only a course in innovation but also draws heavily upon the leadership education which we have had so far. For success, we not only need to work in a team which share similar motivations but also easily handle chaos yet preserve harmony. Therefore, our innovation teams are a combination of five participants from IMD and one from ECal/EPFL who have come together by choice to achieve a common purpose.

The “Innovation lab” kicked off today with an introduction to the program, the expectations, our deliverables and a discussion with the experts from the field of healthcare to get diverse perspectives into problems plaguing the healthcare industry. The initial hypothesis formed will propel us into deeper discussions when we go out and meet professional during the field visits tomorrow.

Before I sign out to prepare for the day tomorrow, I will leave you with the thoughts from Professor Cyril Bouquet, who is leading the “Innovation Lab”, on this week: “What we are going through this week is some sort of organized mess. We need structure and freedom. And it’s a tough balancing act. Too much structure and you become like the army. Too much freedom and you’re like the club med. You need autonomy within the frame”.

Image courtesy:  Process of Innovation by “Sébastien GERBIER”

Neharika

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