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Les C. Meyer, Chairman, Informed Opinion Leadership Action Group

Les C. Meyer, Chairman

Les C. Meyer is a results-driven serial entrepreneur, global executive leader and MBA with extensive experience in mindful innovation and self-actualization. He has demonstrated creativity in transforming health and performance improvement through innovation leadership. He has worked with many organizations to help them achieve an optimal healthy workplace and workforce and achieve functional wellbeing outcomes via…
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How is your team changing the game within your industry sector?

We guide clients toward viewing their organization, in all facets, with a mindful innovation (MI) approach. MI is a tuned in, creative-thinking leadership engagement process — coupled with a five-step systematic approach including assessment, culture, strategy, implementation and measurement — empowering CEOs to improve the health of the enterprise and its workforce, reduce costs, improve productivity and ultimately, profitability in a global economy.

My idea of “hard-wired MI” emerged in mid-2009 as I watched CEOs working feverishly on getting their arms around their “Big Idea.”  And then, watching them formulate strategic plans to transform their companies by advancing their breakthrough brainchild as a “constructive, disruptive innovation.” Over and over these leaders were relying on outdated “thriving on chaos” playbooks not recognizing the competitive imperfections in the marketplace. 

The MI approach prompts quick-response adaptation when CEOs drive the process top down and encourage their people to embrace “imagining” from the bottom up — with all stakeholders striving for the competitive advantage that lies in the health of their people. 

MI is moment-to-moment, surround-sound awareness of organization health achievement in action. It generates CEO imagination, ingenuity and creative execution in the boardroom. Most importantly, MI upholds the principles of disruptive innovation guru, Clayton Christensen, who introduced the criteria by which a product or service rooted in simple applications relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors.

MI is imagining what the future could look like, identifying mega-opportunities and building game-changing ways of delivering business value to all stakeholders. We do this by focusing our attention on next generation hard-wiring MI capabilities, technologies and learning system collective impact community collaboratives that provide MI solutions to the health industry in the short and long-term.


What are some of the biggest impediments to innovation in your organization or industry sector?

Health care costs are unsustainably high and health outcomes are suboptimal. To curb these trends, movement toward value-based care must be put into action.

Colleagues at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies: Roundtable on Population Health Improvement, Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) Employer-Community Collaboration Committee recently noted two major impediments:

1. Health care improvement underperformance, inefficiency and exorbitant costs continue in the U.S. health care system. Although biomedical knowledge, innovations in therapies and surgical procedures, and management of chronic conditions have substantially advanced, American health care has failed to significantly improve in many areas. They include modern medicine’s complexity, the high cost of care and limited investment value to achieve the best care at lower cost.

2. Despite spending almost one-fifth of the economy’s output on health care, the quality and safety of care remains uneven. Patient harm remains too common, care is frequently uncoordinated and fragmented, care quality varies significantly across the country and overall health outcomes are not commensurate with the extraordinary level of investment.

Data is available to make the right decisions to transition into performance improvement incentives, patient-empowered self-care methods and consumer-centric optimal healing environments innovations.


How has innovation become engrained in your organization’s culture, and how is it being optimized?

Our focus is on game-changing ideas from independent leaders who create meaningful distinctions in the market and suggest an insightful exchange of information for sound decision making. Our cutting edge methods and innovations performance improvement process tackles the tough organization health challenges impacting enterprise-wide growth, profitability and customer experience optimization to help drive improving value on investment in health care through ground-breaking collective impact methods and sustainable MI leadership engagement innovations.

Health innovation strategy is critical to an organization’s success. It trumps everything else. MI is not a genomic-DNA capability we’re born with per se but rather a hard-wiring self-actualization, performance improvement process, which helps CEOs reclaim their creative confidence.  The innate ability for leaders to vision breakthrough ideas is strengthened through systems that encourage innovative prowess to move progressively from idea to collective-impact upsurge.

MI has moved from a largely obscure practice to a mainstream organizational idea in some leading organizations around the world. Mindful innovators like Mark T. Bertolini, Chairman and CEO, Aetna are accelerating the awareness of “mindfulness use” in the board room and “self-actualization creative execution” in the C-Suite including workforce team member front line alignment to create an upsurge in economic development worldwide.

Mindful “organization health” is defined as the ability of an organization to identify, engage, establish, elevate, achieve and renew itself faster than the competition to sustain stellar business performance. This MI strategy is among the most powerful an enterprise can execute to create value-based, optimal customer experiences and sustain the power of long-term, brand-equity. 

Aligning organization health leadership creative confidence and self-actualization is leadership at its best. Remarkable leaders conduct business in a new way — one that imagines a healthy workforce productive advantage, maximizes human potential and tethers the organization to a common set of principles. The task of highly effective leaders is to design high-impact business goals to attain organization health.

Thriving organization health business models embed mindful collective impact stakeholder collaboration connections. This is done via a community-based, learning health care system and optimal healing environments that enable a user-friendly connectivity interface. What’s important is that this interface is consistently reliable and seamlessly improves key components. They include population health promotion capabilities and functional wellbeing systems in which science, informatics, incentives and culture are aligned for continuous improvement and innovation. The approach must be aligned with best practices that are seamlessly embedded in the care process, as well as patients and new knowledge captured as an integral byproduct of the care experience to achieve the best care at lower cost.

Our MI attitude to think the unthinkable with board chairs — and making the invisible visible with CEOs — continues to drives business success and provide a pathway to achieve competitive advantage and optimize commitments to accelerate organization health action plans and workforce health achievement.


What technologies, business models, and trends will drive the biggest changes in your industry over the next two years?

MI is the final frontier to transforming health and performance improvement innovation leadership, achieving optimal healthy workplace realization and making healing as important as curing to sustain company-wide profits and competitive advantage while helping their organization’s workforce evolve, achieve and thrive.      

The “Masters of MI” realize that creativity is essential to success and something you practice throughout the MI creative confidence, hard-wiring self-actualization achievement process. Bottom-line: Hard-wiring MI activates a cracking-the-code mindset for CEOs and their ability to stay ahead of the innovation curve and sustain company-wide profits and competitive advantage.  

We are working on other meaningful distinctive hard-wiring MI capabilities, technologies and learning system collective impact collaboratives that will drive the biggest changes in the health industry over the next two years. They include:

Health date analytics technologies: MI approach to empowering organizations with better analytics and informed decision-making guidance to change the course of their organization health strategy and advance plan design action plans.

Accountable health and wellbeing initiatives: MI approach to accountable health collaboratives and the Wellbeing Initiative for the Nation (WIN) via a public-private partnership for national prosperity to collaborate, coordinate and guide global organizational health innovation strategies enabling company-wide profits and competitive advantage, workforce effectiveness and community success. 

Optimal healing environments: MI approach to transforming health and performance improvement innovation, achieving optimal healthy workplace realization and advancing healing as important as curing.

Living well invisible drivers of work-life health and economic wellbeing measurement:  MI approach relates to commitment to be personally responsible, self-reliant and accountable to achieve better living and “Vulnerability Index” reporting which measures the balance of a population’s or individual’s mix of “unmentionables” — life-context conditions like financial stress or caring for an aging parent — and their ability to cope with these conditions. 

Healthy life expectancy: MI approach relates to improving health-related quality of life and wellbeing for all individuals and takes account of the number of years that a person at a given age can expect to live in good health taking into account age-specific mortality, morbidity, and functional health status. In other words, dying with as much vitality as possible.

Oncology care improvement: MI approach to advancing oncology care best practices and improve the service experience of cancer patients and their families.

Home hospice and palliative care: MI approach to optimal healing environments in home hospice and palliative care to achieve breakthrough improvements in relieving human suffering, including pain, anxiety, dyspnea and helplessness, as well as finding meaning in suffering.

Precision medicine and genomic innovations in health: MI approach to precision medicine and genomics-driven diagnosis, complex and rare chronic disease testing and treatment alignment capabilities.

Enabling technologies, scientific discovery and telemedicine capabilities: MI approach to accelerate best care at lower cost via primary care and complex care management solutions; value-focused comparative effectiveness outcomes research and life sciences innovations; and advances in mindful use of center of excellence telemedicine capabilities via remote consults for appropriate individual medical, behavioral and population health promotion problems instead of visiting emergency rooms, urgent care centers, and physicians’ offices. 

Wearable computer technology and remote monitoring technologies: MI approach to wearable computer technologies and tracking devices and strategies to achieve meaningful behavior change. 


Can you share a specific innovation strategy you’ve recently encountered which you find compelling?

Organizations worldwide see MI as essential to fortifying the fabric and culture of their enterprises. A commitment to MI, compelling ideas and the use of transformative MI is making mindful innovators constantly aware of their mindful intent to amass enterprise-wide economic well-being.

Our work with the Samueli Institute’s Wellbeing Initiative for the Nation (WIN) — a national effort that convenes CEOs, C-Suite executives and health policy thought leaders from the private, public and military sectors — is working to expedite the transformation of our health care system to one that enhances community health and fosters a flourishing society.

Samueli Institute’s vision and its WIN public-private partnership for national prosperity — includes a next level measuring social wellbeing collective impact approach — and advances a new system of currency that may seem like a fantasy, but it’s this type of radical thinking that’s needed in America to stop the progress of chronic disease and unhealthy living in its tracks.1

Imagine that there was a Social Wellbeing Index (SWI). Alongside the Dow Jones stock market index and other reports of financial wellbeing, the state of social wellbeing would be announced each day, broadcast on television stations, streamed on the radio, and featured on financial market and Internet news sites.

Imagine that this index was used as a metric for tracking the health of our society and could be reported for a city, state, county, country, community, company or for any organization. Imagine that policies and laws could be made to encourage the investment in increasing this social wellbeing index and that both tax incentives and profits were tied to it. Imagine that something of value such as a SWI currency, redeemable for physical or service resources or social appreciation and recognition, could be gained from those who boosted the SWI. The greater the contribution to the index the greater the value of the SWI currency, which could be accumulated, saved and spent. 

At its heart of the SWI would be a measure of the degree to which social engagement and bonding was being enhanced for the betterment of society as a whole. The value of the SWI currency could be weighted according to the degree to which collective wellbeing was arising from this social engagement. Activities such as investment in time would be considered a key resource and given value for the SWI. 

Surrounding this core SWI measure would be other more traditional measures of individual and collective flourishing in order to determine the impact on social wellbeing in the culture as a whole. These would likely be the parameters usually tracked such as morbidity and mortality, public health measures, health behaviors, education success, stress and happiness levels, disparities measures, environmental health, nutritional sustenance, levels of safety and violence, economic stress, and degrees of altruism and civic engagement.

If simplified into a core index, reported daily and tied to both economic and social reward, the Social Wellbeing Index could become its own ongoing worldwide wellbeing driver and have multiple other uses, such as for the Wellbeing Initiative for the Nation (WIN) Challenge.

In conclusion, we continue working with our colleagues to expedite the transformation of our health care system to one that enhances community health and fosters a flourishing society.

1. Reference
Think Big for Social Wellbeing
Posted on December 4, 2014, by Wayne B Jonas, MD, President and CEO, Samueli Institute     

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