That IKEA talk. A model for radical innovation in health service design

Bronwyn Venning

Country Health SA, PO Box 270 Angaston, SA 5353, bronwyn.venning@health.sa.gov.au

What could possibly be learned about health service provision from an iconic global furniture business?

With IKEA’s vision “To create a better everyday life for the many people” this sentence could comfortably sit on the wall of any health service.

When it comes to embracing change and innovation to enable cost efficiency and leading edge renewal; perhaps IKEA’s core values and approach to design can inform health economic arguments and prepare allied health services for the world of pricing policies, and consumer directed care.

Features such as customer empowerment, goal-oriented service provision and attention to literacy needs are classic of the IKEA approach which provides enablers to enhance the service user experience. Do our organisations enable or are our systems built with barriers?

An investment in human resources is at the heart of the IKEA business model. Investing in our allied health workforce is essential to future comprehensive and affordable health services for our communities. How can IKEA inform our way forward?

With consumer partnerships emerging as an essential part of building safe and high quality future health care, IKEA are the masters of “social listening”, placing value on ethnological research and telling the story of the solution back to the consumer in a tangible, accessible and aspirational way.

This presentation looks at a model for radical efficiency in health care and the possibility to change our workplace climates from the pressures of ‘more for less’ to ‘different, better and lower cost’.  We will focus on the elements of IKEA’s business model that could be worth emulating in a sector in need of some radical innovation and fresh lösningar (solutions). Allen keys optional.

Biography

Bron Venning graduated from Podiatry at UniSA in 1997 and is currently the CEO of her own life; a role for which she feels horribly underqualified.

After about 14 years of Podiatry in Country Health SA Local Health Network, a series of happy accidents saw her move into community development and then community engagement – fields that she is most passionate about. She maintains that the best and most important things she has learned have not been in a formal learning institution.

In her workplace, Bron is renowned for thinking in different ways, saying “yes” to almost everything and drinking way too much coffee.  She believes in people, she believes in creativity and she believes in leaving the world better than she found it.

Her views are best described by two great men:
Walt Disney with “you can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world but it takes people to make the dream a reality” and Martin Luther King Jr with “Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted”