A nationwide provider of elder care seeks to develop new services and business models to better serve their existing customer and reach new customers.
Key Activities Completed During this Project
- Problem framing
- Secondary research
- Primary research at admired firms
- Innovation strategy creation and refinement
- Co-creation invention sessions with stakeholders
- Low-fidelity prototyping of the innovation architecture
- Investment pitching to leadership
The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society currently operates 250 facilities across 24 states, and their home care service is only expanding. In 2010, the organization found their practices and methods deeply entrenched in Quality & Operations, making it difficult to surface fresh solutions and try them out. Additionally, highly regulated services had to be delivered despite decreasing support from Medicare and Medicaid, all while facing increasing expectations from customers and their families. What would an innovation capability look like within the Society’s unique culture? How does a decentralized organization approach the construction of an innovation unit? For the Good Samaritan Society, innovation was the key to long-term success in their mission to serve the last, the lost and the least.
Peer Insight collaborated with a cross-functional team comprised of front-line staff, upper level management, and the C-level executive team. These key stakeholders came together in a series of one-day, co-creation sessions to design the ideal innovation system using different “parts” of admired firms [many admired firms were happy to provide benchmark inputs to help Good Sam create their unique innovation system, including: UnitedHealth Group, Pitney Bowes, Intel, GE, Hallmark, Progressive, UPS, and The Hartford]. The newly designed innovation structure was prototyped on a large, wall-length poster, and different iterations of the system were poked and prodded by field staff and C-level executives alike. About half way through the design of the architecture, the Good Samaritan team made site visits to 3M, UnitedHealth Group, and Mayo Clinic to gain inspiration on how to address specific challenges. In the end, the innovation structure became known as “Vivo: Innovation forWell-Being.” It is unlike any other innovation system that we’ve designed, because Good Sam is unlike any other firm.
The first test of the new innovation architecture was to successfully send a project opportunity through the process. Simultaneously, Good Sam broke ground on a new physical innovation center (a dedicated space in the national campus building) where the work would take place. Eight months later, the Vivo group had a successful first project and new space to move into. Today they are setting the pace in the elder care market with sensor technologies, home health services, and a digital “window to the world” for isolated seniors.
Peer Insight supported the successful implementation of a formal innovation capability that enabled our client to create new services within a challenging environment. Activities critical to the success of the venture included the creation of five-year innovation strategy supported with a staged plan of strategic focus areas, goals, and metrics of success, along with defined governance, funding protocols and process timelines, including a three-year hiring plan for a diverse innovation staff.
Peer Insight also aided the Good Samaritan Society in developing a communication platform to ensure organization-wide awareness and facilitate future collaboration across the organization. The platform leveraged unique, co-created branding, story assets, and communication protocols for the innovation group to build engagement and support within the organization. Additionally, the Peer Insight team provided coaching to the fledgling innovation team throughout its first projects to propel the group forward as new staff came on-board, including supporting them in creating its first “open-innovation” and collaboration efforts with outside innovators and partner organizations.
Three years later, The Good Samaritan Society has the confidence they need to shape their future and that of the elders they serve.