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The innovation point is the pivotal moment when talented and motivated people seek the opportunity to act on their ideas and dreams.



While sitting in the cafeteria at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, a patient's family member shared, "We have been involved in care across the UCLA system—in clinics and at both hospital campuses. I have to say that I have never seen a more dynamic organization. It is one that is constantly evolving to serve the needs of patients and reflects a great deal of positive leadership influence." In their book Launching a Leadership Revolution, Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady suggest that "leadership influence" is a critical aspect of business success and can be quantified as a function of the effort of the leader multiplied by the scope of those he affects. To achieve maximum influence, leaders must not only exert extreme effort but also gain broad buy-in for their initiatives. When it comes to the influence of UCLA's leaders on the organization's innovation practices, both effort and scope are maximized.

In this chapter, we will look at the processes and outcomes of incremental innovation—evolutionary steps that are changing the future of medicine. This chapter also shows how leaders drive innovation into their corporate DNA. It points out the benefits of increasing service diversification and of maximizing staff empowerment.


In my career as a corporate consultant, I have seen many well-intentioned leaders beat the drum for staff innovation. In these businesses, staff members know that innovation is important to the long-term future of the company, but they are essentially clueless and lacking in tools when it comes to starting the innovation process. Often leaders fail to distinguish between invention and innovation. They don't make it clear that innovation involves ideas that benefit customers and invention refers to a great idea without a definable customer market or interest. To offer guidance for incremental quality improvement, consistent with the evidence-based nature of medical best practices, UCLA's leaders have offered structure and process to front-line workers. One example of this innovation structure comes in the form of process improvement nursing teams. These teams, which are based at the unit level, are integral to a major nursing certification that UCLA attained.

UCLA was selected by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the world's largest and most prestigious nurse credentialing organization, for Magnet Recognition in 2005. The Magnet Recognition Program® was created to acknowledge health systems that provide nursing excellence. Magnet Recognition is considered the premier benchmark for consumer confidence in the quality of nursing care that can be attained and is one of the factors considered in the U.S. News & World Report rankings of hospitals. The process of achieving Magnet Recognition involves lengthy applications, written documentation verifying the ...

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