Give Change a Chance


By Stacy M. Menz, PT, DPT

Disruptive Innovation. These words may cause a different reaction in each of you. To some, the thought may be scary.

You may be thinking, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But to others, the thought may be invigorating, may get your blood pumping. You thrive on change and like the idea of disrupting the status quo!

On which end of the spectrum does your organization fall? Do you encourage your staff to innovate? To think outside the box? To question the way it has always been done? Or do you like to maintain smooth sailing? Maybe it is a continuum. Causing disruption just for disruption’s sake doesn’t always work, but encouraging innovative and potentially disruptive thinking can bring to light new ideas that could be beneficial to your organization. There is something to be said for finding a system that works and implementing it. Constant change can be hard on an organization. However, sometimes you have to give change a chance—and that becomes the new normal—before innovation can occur.

Regularly looking at what you are doing and why is a good thing. It keeps things fresh and on track with your strategy, goals, and vision. Group brainstorming (where no idea is censored) can also be a positive exercise when working to assess where you are related to your goal. I have been in many brainstorming sessions where the most off-the-wall idea triggered an idea in someone else that was workable and brought about quality change to the organization.

It’s hard to be creative on demand. In my organization we are lucky to work with kids, so we are surrounded on a daily basis by imagination and creativity. Even still, it is hard to switch modes from working with patients to thinking critically and limitlessly about what you want, would love to see, or could be.

Ask yourself: How do you encourage disruptive innovation, or even just innovation in your organization? What exercises or assessment do you perform and how often? Maybe you need to get out your calendar.