Physician entrepreneurs come in several flavors: private practitioners, technopreneurs, social entrepreneurs, edupreneurs, academic entrepreneurs, service providers and physician investors.
Some are intrapreneurs i.e. employed physicians trying or expected to add value to their employers by acting like entrepreneurs. In other words, they are trying to create employer defined value through the deployment of innovation by deploying a product, service or model that is designed to improve quality, access and the doctor and patient experience while decreasing costs.
What's more, there are some basic biomedical and clinical innovation roadmaps - drugs, devices, digital health and care delivery, be it internal or something others can use outside of your organization. Each requires different knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies.
In general, here are the 5Ps of product success.
A lot has been written about how to innovate in your organization and overcome the barriers. The stops along the intrapreneur innovation roadmap typically involve:
- Picking the right problem to solve.
- Creating the right product that solves the problem (product market fit).
- Finding the right champion with the passion, perseverance and political savvy to execute.
- Helping the champion build a team that includes the right partners and sponsors.
- Overcoming the processes within the organization that are barriers or working around them. Lead innovators, don't manage innovation.
- Making sure that everyone is focused on the same purpose or desired results that are aligned with organizational priorities.
- Not punishing failure.
- Enabling pilots to demonstrate proof of concept that do not leave innovators in pilot purgatory.
- Pricing the solution appropriately and using the right revenue model (part of your VAST business model).
- Punting on the idea when the evidence indicates the dog won't eat the food.
- Promoting and marketing your solution.
- Creating a pipeline of customers that you can get, keep and grow.
Here's why you should hire physician intrapreneurs and what to do with them once you have. It doesn't always go by the book,
Getting your intrapreneurial idea over the goal line is hard. Be sure to mind your P's (and Q's) when you try.
Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs and co-editor of Digital Health Entrepreneurship.