By Misha Waheed
The Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is one of the largest and most successful hospitals in Canada. As a research intensive facility, Sunnybrook spends more than $100 million in ground-breaking research every year. The Centre provides highly specialised health care to war veterans and critically ill-newborns among other patients and offers more than 2000 University of Toronto students with hands-on learning opportunities.
Developing an international reputation
Over the past year, the Sunnybrook organisation has worked hard to create a presence for themselves in the global health care consulting market. In December 2010, the Centre developed ‘Sunnybrook International‘ in order to expand their patient care, research and education initiatives overseas. Their first project for 2011 involved the development of health care trade in the Middle East (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar). The consulting team included Dr. Keith Rose from Sunnybrook, along with other
delegates from the public and private sectors, such as SickKids and Mount Sinai Hospital.
Sunnybrook International has worked with several foreign agencies and governments to develop similar health care programs and services in their respective communities. Most of the emphasis has been on creating programs similar to Sunnybrook’s Trauma, Emergency and Critical Care (TECC), Women and Babies Centre and Odette Cancer Centre in developing nations.
The Sunnybrook International initiative has truly made the organisation a leader in healthcare innovation. Not only has it helped the Centre gain international recognition, but has also led to the development of better heath care in less fortunate communities.
Innovation requires a ‘Global Mindset’
What does it take for someone to become an international leader in innovation, like Sunnybrook? The answer is ‘Global Mindset’. According to a HBR article by Mansour Javidan , individuals with this ability rate high in these three areas:
- Intellectual capital: having extensive knowledgeable about the culture, politics and economics of other countries.
- Psychological capital: being enthusiastic about what you are doing and having faith in yourself and others.
- Social capital: cooperating and collaborating with different people in order to achieve a common goal.
Organisations that possess a global mindset are able to analyse situations from broad perspectives. They understand that diversity brings a variety of opinions to the table and helps to tackle problems from multiple angles. This results in the development of creative and well thought out solutions.
Sunnybrook International has proven how innovation occurs when organisations with different expertise work together to solve some of the health care problems around the world. This provides an important lesson to entrepreneurs who value innovation – know your target markets, believe in your goal and surround yourself with diverse people.
Misha is a fourth year undergraduate student majoring in Communication, Culture & Information Technology and Psychology at the University of Toronto Mississauga. She is currently interning at the RIC centre as an Assistant Communication Officer and is responsible for developing content for the RIC website.
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