Measured Boldness Can Inspire Leaps of Innovation

Leigh Burgess, CEO & President, High Road Strategy

“Big swings of bold” brings to mind baseball home run champions like “the sultan of swat” Babe Ruth or “Hammerin” Hank Aaron, but for Leigh Burgess, CEO and president of High Road Strategy, the phrase is more about striking the balance between innovation and pragmatism in clinical trials.

“It’s a different way of working,” Burgess says. “It’s about taking a chance, yielding results faster, making course corrections,” and accepting the reality that some new ideas or innovations won’t work out. Ideally, the goal is to foster a culture where “all ideas are good” to submit to the group “and there are more voices at the table,” she says.

“Big swings of bold [means] a pragmatic, innovative change that challenges the status quo by trialing measured actions with no guarantee for success,” Burgess says.

She wants to share wisdom gleaned from a survey of 21 female healthcare executives she conducted between October 2020 and February 2021. “It’s a snapshot in time” of how effectively these thought leaders responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, she says. Among other findings:

  • Across all 21 organizations, there was a willingness to try new things and include more people in the discussions on ways to be innovative.
  • All ideas were welcomed, and they came from across the organizations.
  • Inclusive innovation was practiced with intention.

Strategies for Taking ‘Big Swings of Bold’ in Research Ops

Join Burgess at ACRP 2022 where she will share strategies for taking “big swings of bold” in clinical trials while balancing innovation and pragmatism. Walk away with an agility assessment and planning tools for your success.

View Session Details >

Leaders should aim to ignite the latent passion in most employees, Burgess adds. “You want to encourage them to be thinking they are all in to help solve the challenge” or situation in question, she says.

There’s also an issue of semantics at play, Burgess says. “The world ‘bold’ can carry negative connotations,” she notes, especially if it’s associated with recklessness or rebellion for the sake of rebellion. Instead, it’s about being open to new ways of doing things and learning both from successes and failures, she says.

Author: Michael Causey