Three Steps to Digital and AI Transformation

Three Steps to Digital and AI Transformation

GUEST POST from Arlen Meyers, M.D.

In his book, The Four Steps to the Epiphany, Steve Blank described what has become the gospel of lean startup methodologies: Customer validation, customer discovery, customer creation and company building

The path to sickcare digital transformation is a bit shorter, but certainly no less difficult and plagued by failure: Personal innovation readiness, organizational innovation readiness and digital/AI transformation.


Are you prepared to innovate? Here’s what you should know about innovation.

Before you start, prepare yourself with these things:


Starting down the entrepreneurship path means that you will not only have to change your mind about things, more importantly, you will have to change your mindset. Don’t make these rookie mindset mistakes. Here’s what it means to have an entrepreneurial mindset. There is a difference between a clinical and an entrepreneurial mindset. Innovation starts with the right mindset.

Here is how to cope in a VUCA world.


Organizational behavior gurus have been studying how to motivate employees for a very long time. Most have failed.

Indeed, most of your ideas will fail. Consequently, you will need a source of intrinsic motivation to keep you going. Make it personal, but don’t take it personally. Find the right mentors and sponsors to keep you on track and support you when you are down. Create a personal advisory board. Develop these entrepreneurial habits. Practice the power of negative entrepreneurial thinking.


Meaning should drive what you are about to do. Practice virtuous entrepreneurship and find your ikigai. Instead of starting with the end in mind, start with the why in mind. Prune. Let go of the banana.


Once these attitudes are in place, then focus on building your entrepreneurial knowledge, skills, behaviors and competencies. Take a financial inventory. Start accumulating the physical, human and emotional resources you will need to begin and sustain your journey. In addition to knowledge, you will need resources, networks, mentors, peer support and non-clinical career guidance.


What are some standards and metrics you can us to measure your innovation readiness e.g. in the use of artificial intelligence in medicine?

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has released a new report that reflects stakeholder recommendations and opportunities for greater coordination of standardization for artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare. The report, “Standardization Empowering AI-Enabled Systems in Healthcare,” reflects feedback from a 2020 ANSI leadership survey and national workshop, and pinpoints foundational principles and potential next steps for ANSI to work with standards developing organizations, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, other government agencies, industry, and other affected stakeholders.

The newly developed Medical Artificial Intelligence Readiness Scale for Medical Students (MAIRS-MS) was found to be valid and reliable tool for evaluation and monitoring of perceived readiness levels of medical students on AI technologies and applications. Medical schools may follow ‘a physician training perspective that is compatible with AI in medicine’ to their curricula by using MAIRS-MS. This scale could be benefitted by medical and health science education institutions as a valuable curriculum development tool with its learner needs assessment and participants’ end-course perceived readiness opportunities.

As an important step to ensure successful integration of AI and avoid unnecessary investments and costly failures, better consideration should be given to: (1) Needs and added-value assessment; (2) Workplace readiness: stakeholder acceptance and engagement; (3) Technology-organization alignment assessment and (4) Business plan: financing and investments. In summary, decision-makers and technology promoters should better address the complexity of AI and understand the systemic challenges raised by its implementation in healthcare organizations and systems.


Improvement readiness is not the same as innovation readiness.

Giffford Pinchot, who originated the term “intrapreneur”, has suggested that you rate your organization in several domains to see whether your innovation future looks bright or bleek:

  1. Transmission of vision and strategic intent
  2. Tolerance for risk, failure and mistakes
  3. Support for intrapreneurs
  4. Managers who support innovation
  5. Empowered cross functional teams
  6. Decision making by the doers
  7. Discretionary time to innovate
  8. Attention on the new, not the now
  9. Self- selection
  10. No early hand offs to managers
  11. Internal boundary crossing
  12. Strong organizational culture of support
  13. Focus on customers
  14. Choice of internal suppliers
  15. Measurement of innovation
  16. Transparency and truth
  17. Good treatment of people
  18. Ethical and professional
  19. Swinging for singles, not home runs
  20. Robust external open networks

If you ask a sample of people to rate these in your company on a scale of 1-10, don’t be surprised if the average equals somewhere between 2-4. Few organizations, you see, are truly innovative or have a truly innovative culture. Most don’t even think about how to bridge the now with the new, let alone measure it.

Do a cultural audit. Creating a culture of innovation must include SALT and PRICES


  • Process
  • Recognition
  • Incentives
  • Champions
  • Encouragement
  • Structure

Here is a rubrick that might help get you started

Learn from companies in other industries who transformed. Here are some tips from Levi Strauss.


Develop and deploy the 6Ps:

  1. Problem seeking
  2. Problem solving
  3. People
  4. Platform/infrastructure
  5. Process/Project management
  6. Performance indicators that meet clinical, operational and business objectives and achieve the quintuple aims.

Here are some sickeare digital transformation tips.

The path to the end of the rainbow is filled with good intentions and lots of shiny new objects. Stay focused, use your moral compass to guide you and follow the yellow brick road.

Image Credit: Pixabay

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