Unifying Proposition: “Innovation in aging.”
As a combined hospital and research centre, Baycrest wanted to clarify its unusual dual purpose in the public eye. A Blueprint led directly to cultural change and expansion into China.
The business case:
Baycrest Hospital has always been a gold standard in the long-term care (LTC) community. It created a research facility, sponsored by Rotman, that became one of the top five centers in the world for insight into the aging brain. The success of both sides of the organization created a split identity, one that confused people internally and externally. Was it a hospital or research centre? And if it was both at the same time, what was that?
In trying to determine how the two pieces fit together, the first thing that occurred to us is that research is, by definition, innovation. It is looking for new ways to understand and do things. The second thing we realized is that you don’t get to be a gold standard in LTC unless you are innovative. Resting on your laurels does not make you a gold standard! So innovation was the common thread that tied both sides of the organization together. And specifically, innovation in aging.
The business impact:
With the discovery that “Innovation in Aging” is who it is at its core, Baycrest realized it needed to infuse innovation more into its culture and structure. It created the Innovation Technology and Design Lab (ITDL) to translate what it does at the bedside to a comprehensive methodology that can be sold to others. The ITDL is a cross-functional organization, comprised of people from inside and outside the organization (e.g. IBM and OCAD) that is the innovation engine for Baycrest. The ITDL is creating a branded “model of care” that will be as recognizable in the global LTC community as McDonald’s and Starbucks.
China has a serious problem with its aging population. As it transitions from an agrarian to a manufacturing economy, young people are leaving the farms and moving to the city. This leaves their elderly parents at home on the farm with nobody to look after them as they grow old. As a result, the Chinese government has implemented a massive construction program of long-term care facilities, but it has very little expertise in how to run them. It has engaged Baycrest to implement it’s “model of care”, developed by its ITDL innovation engine, in partnership with the Beijing Medical College, the top medical school in China. Baycrest created a new marketing, sales, and services division, called Baycrest Global Solutions, to capitalize on these business opportunities.