Ideriget – A Wealth of Ideas – A hospital wide innovation system

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Employee driven changes are thought to result in sustainable work that balances organizational performance and employee well-being. By explicating in-house knowledge about problems and potential solutions, direction of change is aligned with employee’s knowledge of what is needed and professional insight. Consequently, the identified changes are preferred by employees ensuring that implementation is welcomed resulting in increased wellbeing at work and improvement of the work practices.
A larger Danish university hospital developed an innovation program, a “Wealth of Ideas” (WoI) to engage employees across all functions and seniority in the incubation and implementation of their ideas to introduce new or improve existing procedures and practices in the hospital. We performed a post-project analysis of the program and interviewed the head of the innovation program and four of the 10 participants about their experiences with program and subsequent implementation of the selected work-related changes. Two of the respondents got funding for their idea for change and two did not. The WoI program invited employees to submit ideas for innovation projects and through a 3-stage selection process 60 project proposals were analyzed and 10 projects were awarded funding allowing the employee(s) to work on the innovation full time for six month. The participants were further trained in innovation methods and implementation to support development of their innovation/change. Following the development phase, the employees were to return to their original wards and implement the idea for change. Building on acknowledged principles for sustainable changes, the designers of the innovation project hypothesized that this particular participatory program and generation of new ideas for work practice would motivate employees to bring forward ideas that would improve the daily patient care and gain
immediate support from their wards.
Analysis and results
However, upon returning to their wards the program participants discovered that the wards were not aligned with the change they were about to implement. From the wards’ perspective the change represented a personal interest from the participant – not the wards’ interest. From a ward management perspective this particular participatory and bottom up innovation process creates tension within the wards. The hospital top management supports the participants and the
changes, however, the ward managers have not been included in the neither the change of the work nor the implementation process. Following the development phase the participant is empowered to implement the innovation by top management. Ward management on the other hand focuses on maintaining daily operation using all available resources. Thus, a conflict arises as the innovation project not only uses the resource of the participant but also require resources and changes in the ward to support implementation. All in all, the Idea of Wealth program and the identified work related changes spurred a lot of creativity and good ideas. But the implementation was not aligned with the organization and performance goals which frustration and unneeded conflict in the wards.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 13th NOVO-Symposium
Publication date2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventThe 13th NOVO symposium
: Sustainable work and inter professional collaboration in health care
- Glassalen, DTU, Bygning 101, Lyngby, Denmark
Duration: 12 Dec 201913 Dec 2019
Conference number: 13


ConferenceThe 13th NOVO symposium
LocationGlassalen, DTU, Bygning 101
Internet address


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