Friday, January 15, 2010

On the importance of successful reinvention

Yesterday, Pat Kelleher, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Home Care Alliance, mentioned that the home care industry sits at an interesting intersection.  In some ways, it has traditionally been just another vendor in the chain of health care services available to referring providers and patients.  In some ways, it holds a critical key in an evolving industry where pay for performance, keeping people out of the hospital and more successfully treating populations across the entire continuum of care needs will be even more highly valued (and, theoretically, compensated).

The more successful organizations will transition from the vendor model to the partnership model.  Pat suggests that this will require reinvention.

During our meeting, I mentioned that traditional wedding photographers are struggling with this very issue as well.  When I was married in the 1980s, our photographer handed us a big book full of big photos and we were happy.  We also received a few photos which adorn our walls all these years later.  Photographers took the photos, printed them, and moved on.

With the digital age in full swing, we now have SLR cameras fully capable of capturing high definition video with stereo audio.  For years, still photographers considered this to be marketing gimmickry and useless engineering wizardry.  But, now that the YouTube generation is getting married, the most successful photographers are integrating video, audio, documentary-style interviews with guests, transitions and other effects, and the output is no longer that big book.  It’s a blue ray disk or a usb drive.

Successful photographers today have embraced the new media and technologies and understand that their clients’ expectations have dramatically shifted in the past several years.  Photographers who have not adapted are bemoaning these changes and, increasingly, seeking other lines of work.

There are, I think, obvious lessons here for our industry.

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