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Is the Health Care Industry Creative? A MHSCN Summer Event Recap

In the not-so-dis­tant past, you could poll 100 peo­ple and no one would list the word “cre­ative” in their list of top 10 words to describe the health care indus­try. Reg­u­la­tions and patient pri­va­cy con­cerns are just two of the many rea­sons health care has his­tor­i­cal­ly been among the indus­tries con­sid­ered most con­ser­v­a­tive in terms of its mar­ket­ing. But things are chang­ing.

Inno­v­a­tive part­ner­ships like the one between CVS and Aet­na and new play­ers enter­ing the space like Best Buy are putting con­sumers back at the cen­ter of the equa­tion – and chang­ing how we think about health care mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

Cre­ativ­i­ty can mean dif­fer­ent things to dif­fer­ent peo­ple. On its sur­face, the word may call to mind images of mem­o­rable, edgy ad cam­paigns or viral social media posts. But cre­ativ­i­ty can also some­times look total­ly dif­fer­ent. As the pan­elists, Heath Rud­duck, chief cre­ative offi­cer at Padil­la, John Pohlman, exec­u­tive cre­ative direc­tor with Lawrence & Schiller and our very own Shel­li Lis­sick, shared at this week’s MHSCN event, in real­i­ty, there’s cre­ativ­i­ty present in almost every­thing we do, even in just how we go about our days. Some­times it’s solv­ing a prob­lem for the first time or solv­ing that prob­lem in a total­ly new way that’s nev­er been done before, but oth­er times it’s sim­ply find­ing a way to solve it more effi­cient­ly.

Whether or not you think you’re cre­ative, the pan­elists shared refresh­ing insights and new ways of think­ing about cre­ativ­i­ty. Here are some of the top nuggets the Bell­mont Part­ners Health Prac­tice Group took away:

·       When think­ing about how to encour­age and breed cre­ativ­i­ty, there needs to be a cul­ture in place where peo­ple feel safe and sup­port­ed. Where it’s con­stant­ly rein­forced with inter­nal teams that every­one is cre­ative, no mat­ter their role and it’s encour­aged to think big and be OK, and even cel­e­brat­ed, if those big ideas fail.

·       Give your brain a break – often­times cre­ativ­i­ty strikes when you least expect it, but it’s rare that will hap­pen in a set time frame or under strict para­me­ters.

·       Find the per­son or human ele­ment at the core of the prob­lem or solu­tion. What is the “orga­niz­ing idea?” Bold ideas can help agen­cies ele­vate their work. Be inten­tion­al about who you invite to a brain­storm — have a diverse group made up of peo­ple with spe­cif­ic areas of exper­tise.

At the end of the day: Yes, health care is a heav­i­ly reg­u­lat­ed indus­try, but there is still plen­ty of room to be cre­ative and will become increas­ing­ly nec­es­sary as the indus­try evolves

We end­ed the event with refresh­ments and con­ver­sa­tion soak­ing in the per­fect Min­neso­ta evening on the Bell­mont Part­ners patio and I was once again remind­ed how much I love the Min­neso­ta health care com­mu­ni­ty (and my fel­low com­mu­ni­ca­tions pro­fes­sion­als)! With an indus­try up against so many inher­ent chal­lenges around deliv­ery, trans­paren­cy, cost con­tain­ment and qual­i­ty of care, cre­ativ­i­ty is a non-nego­tiable, and com­mu­ni­ca­tion will con­tin­ue to be an impor­tant piece of the puz­zle in solv­ing these chal­lenges. It’s encour­ag­ing that Min­neso­ta has such a pas­sion­ate, con­nect­ed group of health care inno­va­tors – from care­givers to mar­keters – who are com­mit­ted to putting their cre­ativ­i­ty to work for our com­mu­ni­ty.

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