The Sick Care Entrepreneur's Tool Set

The Sick Care Entrepreneur's Tool Set

The Sick Care Entrepreneur's Tool Set

A CMIO (Chief Medical Information Officer) recently opined that sickcare innovation and entrepreneurship requires the right mindset, skill set and tool set.


Here are some things you should know about the sick care entrepreneurial mindset:

  • What is the entrepreneurial mindset?
  • Rookie entrepreneur mindset mistakes
  • The entrepreneur vs the clinical mindset
  • Changing bioscientist mindsets
  • Antigenic shift takes a mindset shift
  • Change your innovator's gene expression


How do you rate on these?

Opportunity recognition pertains to one’s ability to scan and search for new information, connect the dots between incidents that appear to be unrelated with limited cues, and recognize patterns or ideas that suggest potential opportunities in the myriad cues or signals that they receive (Baron, 2006).

Conveying a compelling vision/seeing the future reflects an individual’s proclivity for effective communication where he or she can translate his or her vision into condensed, clear, and intriguing messages to important stakeholders (Chen, Yao, & Kotha 2009).

Ability to maintain focus yet adapt speaks to the entrepreneurial experience. This ccan include considerable ambiguity and uncertainty, significant obstacles, ongoing emergence of new opportunities, and continuous change in circumstances (Morris et al., 2012). The entrepreneur must continuously adapt, change, modify, and switch while maintaining a self-regulated focus in the midst of volatile conditions (Haynie & Shepherd, 2009)

Resilience captures the cognitive tendency of an individual to cope with stressful, adverse, and devastating situations, to be able to recover from failures, and to constructively sustain his or her efforts to pursue goals. In reality, successful entrepreneurs are not easily beaten by distress or rejections. Instead, they are able to remain or resume a calm state of mind, to tactically frame and analyze problems, dig into the root cause of failures, and to search for ways to get back on track again (Sinclair & Wallston, 2004).

Interdisciplinary teamwork and collaboration refers to the ability of individuals to form partnerships with a team of professionally diverse individuals in a participatory, collaborative, and coordinated approach to share decisionmaking around issues as the means to achieving improved health outcomes (Orchard & Curran, 2003).

Assessing the feasibility of an opportunity emphasizes the need for innovators to make evaluations or judgments on whether emerging information or changes would lead to viable opportunities with profit potential (McMullen & Shepherd, 2006).

Self-Efficacy/Confidence relates to an entrepreneur’s self-confidence and selfassurance about his or her ability to take on challenges, to perform certain set of tasks as needed or expected, and to control processes, contingencies, or consequences in the entrepreneurial pursuit (Bandura, 1997; Baron & Markman, 2005; Tierney & Farmer, 2002). 

Building and using networks concerns one’s ability to establish, maintain, and structure his or her contact network(s) in ways that foster relationships, enhance access to opportunities and/or resources, and potentially lead to realization of his or her objectives (Aldrich, 1999).

Tenacity/Perseverance refers to the extent to which entrepreneurs are committed to seeing their vision through, to endure the long journey to carry out venture creation, to work fervently despite challenges or adversity, to maintain interests, and persist with efforts in achieving goals (Duckworth & Quinn 2009; Hmieleski & Corbett, 2006).

Understanding of healthcare systems entails having a firm grasp of the various components of the health system and an understanding of the major issues faced by the stakeholders.

Resource leveraging/Bootstrapping describes the need to overcome resource constraints by leveraging resources from others. It also reflects a tendency for innovators to demonstrate an inclination towards effectual rather than causal reasoning in bringing together unique resource combinations (Greene &Brown, 1997; Honig, 2001; Politis, Winborg, & Dahlstrand, 2011).

Creative problem solving/Imaginativeness is characterized by Schumpeter (1942), who posited that creative destruction plays a key role in the innovation process. Innovators who start something are engaged in a process of creative imagination in which opportunities are exploited by continuously combining resources in new ways (Kirzner, 1973; Chiles, Bluedorn, & Gupta, 2007).

Design thinking is a human-centered, prototype-driven process for innovation that can be applied to product, service, and business design. It is the process of questioning, observing, and experimenting, so that you can become better equipped to capture valuable information and develop new business ideas. It requires experimentation in order to understand how things work, to test new business ideas or different approaches, and to look for valuable insights that may emerge in the process (Brown, 2008).

Guerrilla skills is a label adapted from a warfare context, describing approaches that center on clever ways to take advantage of one’s surroundings, do more with less, to rely upon unconventional tactics, and to utilize resources not recognized by others in accomplishing tasks within entrepreneurial firms (Schindehutte, Morris & Pitt, 2008).

Risk management/mitigation involves the systematic monitoring, assessing, hedging, transferring, and/or exploiting multifaceted risks encountered as an innovation initiative unfolds. Risk-aversive attitudes discourage individuals from innovative activities (Cramera et al., 2002), while successful entrepreneurs are willing to first recognize and bear the uncertainty or risk needed to take entrepreneurial actions, and are able to manage risk rather than simply trying to avoid risk (McMullen & Shepherd, 2006).

Cross disciplinary knowledge refers to an understanding of the connections, interrelations, and interactions between different fields of knowledge (Mosseri, 2006).

Change management is the ability to understand and manage driving forces, visions, and processes that fuel large-scale transformation (Kottler, 2011).

Information management is the collection and management of information from one or more sources and the distribution of that information to one or more audiences.

Behavioral economics refers to an understanding of psychological, social, cognitive, and emotional factors on the economic decisions of individuals and institutions, and the consequences for market prices, returns, and resource allocation (Lin, 2012). It is the understanding that drives decision making.

Leadership: There is a strong link between leadership and innovation.


Fortunately, most of these are free on the internet:

  1. Networking tools
  2. Project management tools
  3. Team collaboration tools
  4. Business model creation and testing tools
  5. Customer interview and development tools
  6. Hiring and job seeking tools
  7. Fundraising tools
  8. Videoconferencing tools
  9. Intellectual property protection tools
  10. Human resource management tools
  11. eCommerce tools
  12. Business development, marketing and sales tools
  13. Education and professional development tools
  14. Stress management tools
  15. Remote working tools

Here's where to find all these things and more.

It's time to get rid of that reflex hammer in your old black bag and replace it with a mobile phone and a collapsible green screen for your cool virtual background.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs

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  • Tony Carter

    Sick care entrepreneurs are stepping up their game !!

  • Jack Streetly

    It's amazing how remote working can benefit sick care workers. They can learn new things and come back stronger !

  • Kevin Roberts

    Nothing gets done easily

  • Courtney Ferguson

    Good stuff! So true! It's all about mindset, skills and hustle. No days off !!!

  • Mike B

    Thank you for making this article

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Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA

Former Contributor

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is a professor emeritus of otolaryngology, dentistry, and engineering at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health and President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at He has created several medical device and digital health companies. His primary research centers around biomedical and health innovation and entrepreneurship and life science technology commercialization. He consults for and speaks to companies, governments, colleges and universities around the world who need his expertise and contacts in the areas of bio entrepreneurship, bioscience, healthcare, healthcare IT, medical tourism -- nationally and internationally, new product development, product design, and financing new ventures. He is a former Harvard-Macy fellow and In 2010, he completed a Fulbright at Kings Business, the commercialization office of technology transfer at Kings College in London. He recently published "Building the Case for Biotechnology." "Optical Detection of Cancer", and " The Life Science Innovation Roadmap". He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. In addition, He is a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School where he teaches Biomedical Entrepreneurship and is an iCorps participant, trainer and industry mentor. He is the Chief Medical Officer at and and Chairman of the Board at GlobalMindED at, a non-profit at risk student success network. He is honored to be named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives of 2011 and nominated in 2012 and Best Doctors 2013.

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