1. Hello Adam, can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
I consider myself a creative problem solver; some may call that an innovator or inventor and they would be right. I’m a patent-holding mechanical engineer that designed cars at the beginning of my career but shifted my focus to the entire development process after earning my MBA. I have worked for Honda, GE and IBM so most of my work has been as an intrapreneur. I have done consulting in the manufacturing, finance, healthcare, military, government, medical device and education sectors.
2. What are your focus areas and why?
I focus on the part of the organization that creates new stuff: everything included from the time an idea for a product or service is formed until it is launched. This includes the process, techniques and best practices. Often organizations have no formal method for this and they stall during development, taking too long, costing too much or not selling as expected. The number one failure I find is “failing to create something that solves a customer pain point,” instead trying to release something just because it is cool or new. Everything starts with the customer.
3. How do you describe “Simpler” in few words?
We transform companies using lean principles—in operations and new product/service development.
4. Where do you think you are making an impact?
The work I’m leading is changing healthcare systems view of how they can change patient care models, breaking decades-old traditions and methods to treat the patient faster, better, and cheaper.
5. Can you tell us more about your new project?
We’re leading big efforts on population health and a shift to value based care for healthcare. It incorporates cutting edge technology with a proven development and operational model of excellence.
6. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Honestly, I just want to be a major influence and recognized expert in helping organizations and industries be more innovative and have great processes for creating award-winning, game-changing, new products and services.
7. What were some of the biggest challenges you encountered while working on “Simpler”?
When I started at Simpler, I was the only employee focused on new product and service development. The rest of the organization was focused on operations. Since I was the first, I had to come up with all of the consulting material, find clients to deliver it, get contracts signed and do the work. I was frequently in front of a room full of executives, all expecting the magic answer to their problem. This was tough. Coming from large organizations in the past, I never had to do product creation, pitch as a salesman and do the delivery myself. I learned a lot very quickly. It felt like when I was a new college graduate again: capable and full of potential, but not yet competent. It took me a year or two to feel comfortable. Now you can put me in front of any executive in any industry and I am comfortable engaging and challenging them, confident in my knowledge of what works best.
8. What can you tell young people who are pursuing their dreams?
Always develop yourself. Never stop learning. Take risks. Don’t get comfortable. Seize opportunities that look like a great fit with you. Enjoy what you do and who you work for or move on. Find a partner. Look across industries for solutions.
9. What are you most excited about at the moment?
The overhaul of healthcare is what excites me the most. I spend most of my time in this industry right now and it’s ripe for major changes. How we are diagnosed and treated will look very different in the next few years. Patients will be more informed, get better outcomes from their providers and will spend less getting care. Big changes are coming and we’ll all be better because of it.
10. The last word or final thoughts?
There is always better. I hate the status quo. Others should too. Something is old the second it’s launched to the market. Work should begin immediately to keep it fresh and more relevant to the customer. There are creative people who work better in these roles and they should constantly stimulate their imagination. Be someone who embraces this!!