Board members are often asked to envision new ways to shape strategies to fulfill the board’s mission. For nurses, this is a natural role to contribute to board discussions. Nurses have significant and lived experience encountering challenges and opportunities, using their creativity to problem solve, develop ideas, and/or innovate.
So, what is innovation?
Innovation is discovering new possibilities through a new mindset triggered by a different context to enable new, useful, creative, and unexpected linkages that often generate a new solution or unique adaptation, resulting in optimal outcomes to benefit all stakeholders.
The SCAMPER technique
When faced with a request to contribute new ideas or solutions, it is important to be intentional as different perspectives are considered. It’s about making connections across seemingly unrelated things, people, and problems. The SCAMPER technique,
developed by Bob Eberle, is a tool that provides reflective questions to help drive innovative thinking in the boardroom.
- Substitute – Should we consider changing the name?
- Combine – Which are the best elements to include for a particular result?
- Adapt – Can we adapt the context or target group?
- Modify – What might we remove or make smaller, condensed, lower, shorter or lighter?
- Purpose – How might this be adapted for another purpose?
- Eliminate/Minify – What’s non-essential or unnecessary?
- Rearrange/Reverse – Can we change the pace or schedule?
Remember, innovation is about being intentional to problem solve or develop unique solutions. It is particularly relevant in the boardroom today with the fast-paced and dynamic environment all organizations are operating in.
How did nurse leaders innovate during COVID?
"The peak of the first wave of COVID was an unbelievable time of nursing innovation. Nurses reacted to evolving patient care needs and evolving knowledge of the disease in real time. One such example was the creation of special care teams that became expert in focused patient needs and providing much needed support to inpatient nursing staff. What this looked like for us, nurses from ambulatory care and procedural areas formed teams that provided technology-enabled family connections and proning teams. These teams provided critical care elements for the patients but also supported the ICU staff to provide other specialized care for the many patients under their care. A true example of innovation and teamwork!"
Debra Albert, Senior Vice President for Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer, NYU Langone Health
Huber, D., Bair, H., & Joseph, M. L. (2019). Roadmap to Drive Innovativeness in Health Care. Nurse Leader, 17(6), 505-508. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mnl.2019.09.007
Mulder, P. (2018). SCAMPER Technique by Bob Eberle. Retrieved April 15, 2021 from ToolsHero: https://www.toolshero.com/creativity/scamper-technique-bob-eberle/