I have been sharing info about the Village to Village Network with some of my neighbors (of all ages), with hopes of someday creating something here in the North Boroughs of Pittsburgh.
The Village concept is certainly a welcome innovation in how we care and support one another in our communities, but is it what Clayton Christensen would call a Disruptive Innovation?
An innovation that is disruptive allows a whole new population of consumers access to a product or service that was historically only accessible to consumers with a lot of money or a lot of skill. Characteristics of disruptive businesses, at least in their initial stages, can include: lower gross margins, smaller target markets, and simpler products and services that may not appear as attractive as existing solutions when compared against traditional performance metrics.
What is a “traditional performance metric” mean in long-term care? That’s what appears to be evolving with the culture change movement, and it’s about a whole lot more than isolated changes in care practices among nursing homes and home care agencies.
The aging of the Post War generation is breaking down the Fourth Wall in the drama of eldercare and disability services, where it’s no longer a show watched from a distance. We are all in it now, creating something together.* That’s the hope, anyhow.
Because companies tend to innovate faster than their customers’ lives change, most organizations eventually end up producing products or services that are too good, too expensive, and too inconvenient for many customers. By only pursuing “sustaining innovations” that perpetuate what has historically helped them succeed, companies unwittingly open the door to “disruptive innovations”.