MODULE 2 - Intrapreneurial Challenges and Opportunities
Albert Einstein said “If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute solving it.” Starting out on any social innovation initiative requires a deep understanding of the need and its context. To capture and persuade an audience to action you will need to communicate the problem clearly and concisely. In this module, we will investigate issues that social intrapreneurship can take on in the health sector. To finish off the module, participants will share an issue area which they are passionate about seeing change.
1) Understand: How to define the problem
Dr. Paul Polak is the founder of International Development Enterprises (IDE), an organization dedicated to creating grassroots business solutions for ending poverty.
Dr. Polak was a psychiatrist for 23 years before becoming a social entrepreneur and launching his IDE, which has tapped unexploited market opportunities for the poor to develop innovative, low-cost tools that have helped in lifting 20 million people out of poverty.
Read: Practical Problem Solving. This excerpt from his 2008 book “Out of Poverty” outlines the 12 steps Polak takes at the very start of his projects.
Discuss: While reading the section, think both about the advice Polak gives and the mistakes he sees in traditional approaches.
2) Watch: 10 Questions for Paul Farmer
Dr. Paul Farmer, medical anthropologist, and physician has dedicated his life to improving health care for the world’s poorest people. He is a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and founding director of Partners In Health (PIH), a non-profit which has taken innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to providing health services to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. He partners with many large bureaucratic organizations and is a prolific speaker and fundraiser.
As you watch this short interview with Time Magazine, consider how Dr. Farmer frames the challenges in a compelling and actionable way.
3) Explore: The Root of the Problem
To investigate more deeply how we can uncover needs that get to the fundamental and underlying problems that can be tackled by social intrapreneurship, choose ONE of the following two readings.
Are you solving the right problem?
A problem statement is a way to communicate the need you believe an innovation can solve. Engaged in a social innovation initiative already?
Read: Are You Solving the Right Problem?an article by Dwayne Spradlin. He’s an advisor to InnoCentive, the global leader in crowdsourcing innovation problems to the world’s smartest people who compete to provide ideas and solutions.
Discuss: Well, we have to ask as well: are you solving the right problem? How did this article possibly cause you to think about your work differently? How can we tell what the “right” problems are?
The Innovator's Prescription
Interested to look more deeply at the fundamental underlying problems facing the healthcare systems of industrialized countries?
Read: Read this excerpt of Clayton Christensen’s book The Innovator’s Prescription (Download).
Discuss: Consider what trends and patterns can be leveraged to lead to disruptive innovation that can radically transform the healthcare systems of the US and Europe.
4) Discussion Question
What problems, issue areas or community needs are you passionate to work toward new solutions using social intrapreneurship?
Paul Polak is the founder of International Development Enterprises (IDE). This excerpt from his 2008 book “Out of Poverty” outlines the 12 steps Polak takes at the very start of his projects. While reading the section, called practical problem solving, think both about the advice Polak gives and the mistakes he sees in traditional approaches
Paul Farmer and Belinda Luscombe
Dr. Paul Farmer, medical anthropologist, and physician has dedicated his life to improving health care for the world’s poorest people. He is a founding director of Partners In Health (PIH), a non-profit which has taken innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to providing health services to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. Watch this short interview with Time Magazine and consider how he frames the challenges in a compelling and actionable way.
A major pitfall for new intrapreneurial initiatives is to formulate an innovative product or program as a solution and then try to go out and look for a problem for it to solve. Read this article by Dwayne Spradlin, advisor to InnoCentive, and consider why it is so important to ask the right questions.
Read this excerpt of Clayton Christensen’s book “The Innovator’s Prescription” and consider what types of bold problem statements can lead to disruptive innovation that can radically transforms the health care systems of the US and Europe.