Catalyze Innovation that Advances Health

Leader for the Future

As a MedStar leader For the Future you can:

1. See Differently

You can be creative everyday:

  • Look beyond the ordinary to find the extraordinary
  • Focus your vision
  • Put yourself in the place of most potential
  • Train your technique
  • Listen to your intellect and intuition
  • Every act can be transformative
  • Perspective is everything
  • There’s always more than one right answer
  • Reframe problems as opportunities
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment
  • Don’t get stuck in routine
  • Really care

For a wide range of creative ways to approach old challenges and tough problems download the MedStar Think Differently App.

Here are some other resources for thinking differently. 


2. Try New Things

First you might want to assess your approach to innovation and for promoting a culture of innovation.

Once you get a sense of your approach to innovation, you can focus on actually innovating.

Where to innovate?  Identify one thing in your work or in healthcare that is crying out for innovation. Look at workarounds, something that hasn’t changed for 20 years, or every time you see it you think: “There must be a better way”.

Then experiment: Fail fast and often. Take risks. Learn from failure. Support your team in knowing they can experiment and fail. Learning from failure rather than punishing

Check out some videos on design thinking  -- how to brainstorm new solutions and prototype -- and then take our course on approaching people differently through influence.


3. Make New Connections

Come join MI2's Monthly All Minds Meetings; participate in our annual forum; and take time to read.  These are all ways to connect to new ideas, new people and new insights for change.

“Innovation is a fundamentally optimistic stance toward the future.

It is grounded in curiosity, inventiveness, and a belief that there is always a better way (and that I can help create it)”


Mark Smith, MD
Chief Innovation Officer, MedStar Health
Director, MedStar Institute for Innovation (MI2)

MedStar Health Leadership Competency: Driving Continuous Improvement (CATALYZES INNOVATION)

  • Consistently models an open mindset for risk-taking and experimenting with new ways of doing things; expands comfort zone for ongoing enhancement, despite change and uncertainty.
  • Applies innovation techniques that result in practical solutions to hard problems; proactive solution seeker that leverages various methods and processes; shares with larger scope of system to optimize value.
  • Motivates associates and team to view each project as an exciting challenge; inspires others to consider progressive or alternate ways to complete tasks; holds self to high bar for increased productivity and quality.
  • Looks innovatively beyond the obvious and doesn’t stop at the first answer; sees “hidden” problems and/or additional problems that may exist beneath the surface, addresses root causes.
  • Politically savvy; has an established track record for maneuvering through complex situations with a high degree of skill; anticipates potential land mines and creates the best strategic solution as a result.
MedStar Health Spirit Value: INNOVATION
Embraces change and works to improve all we do; discovers valuable improvements that help us all to prosper.
  • Challenges the status quo; consistently and eagerly embraces change; strives continuously to improve all that s/he does.
  • Promotes an environment of open-mindedness and creativity; contributes excellent ideas for positive change and provides solutions to problems: acts on them as appropriate.
  • Champions innovative approaches to work; encourages and supports others as they try new things and take appropriate “risks”. Leads change initiatives.
  • Highly committed to improvement, and portrays an entrepreneurial spirit; eager to change for the good of the organization.
  • Sets an example for others by seeking new ways to improve patient care, customer service, and work processes.
  • Serves as a solution seeker; provides innovative options and alternative thinking to promote “system-think”.