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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Personal Reflection

... A look into the author's personal refelction of innovation leadership. Written by Dianne DeNardo for the Master's in Healthcare Innovation, MHI 538, August 29, 2009.

As a leader of innovation, I find myself torn between various types of leadership styles inside (Palmer, 2000). However, there is one primary leadership approach that best fit my personality in which I am effective when guiding others in innovation. Perhaps, having the ability to use multiple leadership styles promote flexibility in how I choose to respond to novel ideas, negative or positive responses, various environmental stressors, resistant colleagues, even over-ambitious organizational structure modeling with managers that may only delegate, not participate (Porter-O'Grady & Malloch, 2007). I realize power does not come from a title one may have within their professional job. Power is the flexibility one creates within oneself when responding to diverse situation(s) that exposes unique leadership qualities that supports the organization and the environment as a whole (Porter-O'Grady & Malloch, 2007 and Palmer, 2000).

The hurdler: defined as one that gets “a charge out of trying to do something that’s never been done before,” “…risk taker” and “problem solver who overcomes obstacles” (Kelley & Littman, 2005, 92-111/4). What attracted me to my full time job as Clinical Research Nurse Leader in the Clinical Research Unit (CRU) is that I have the opportunity to embrace my 18 years of experience in veterinary and human medicine, clinical nursing and diverse roles in various research facilities to institute a novel facility in this region of Arizona that promotes the integration of scientific research methods and clinical trials with a kiss of demonstrating through collaborative efforts the essentials learned in identifying disease processes and physiology in an effort to set a premise of promoting universal health and well being for quality patient care. In the CRU, we are determined to understand the molecular mechanisms behind type 2 diabetes.

When I first came to the CRU, the clinic was spending too much revenue on supplies that became wasted due to failed studies from nursing or technical errors. The scientists had anxiety from being months behind in their research. This combination affects funding in grant proposals for the survival of jobs, publications and discoveries of treatments for type 2 diabetics. After learning this, my focus was to reorganize the structure of the clinic and produce a professional and efficient work environment.

Being a leader of innovation, the three (plus) ways I am effective is (1) I created a personal motto: “to decrease the budget and increase productivity.” While implanting this remark constantly, I (2) had to maintain an upbeat personality of optimism, (3) playful behavior, and (4) disregard of my own limitations in providing nursing services that scientists needed in order to do their studies by being mobile and portable. I demonstrated this by going outside of the CRU to the labs in other buildings to draw blood on volunteers when the scientists were unable to come to the CRU. The (1) problem solving, (2) optimistic and (3) positive behaviors and attitudes I displayed since the beginning of my hire to present seem to continue attracting the attention the CRU needed in order to increase our study productivity.

Through word of mouth of our success, we have increased in revenue by expanding nursing services with adjacent labs, hired three additional PRN nurses to satisfy the increasing demands, and currently in the process of collaborating with additional labs to provide participants added resources after the completion of their primary type 2 diabetes studies with the CRU’s core scientists.

The three factors where I may get in my own way as a leader of innovation is: (1) I have a hard time letting go of previous responsibilities (2) The need to oversee and maintain a controlled and monitored, non-micromanaged environment (3) To increase communication to other nurses, staff members and management when I need help.

I am a control freak with this self fulfilling need to do it all; regardless of my need to rest and restore. My need to provide and demonstrate quality service seems to direct me into being overly critical of others. I know I need to overcome this by allowing others the space they need to grow and pave a method in routine and techniques unique to themselves, not as a clone of me (Porter-O'Grady & Malloch, 2007 and (Palmer, 2007, 73-78/5)


Kelley, T., & Littman, J. (2005). The ten faces of innovation. United States: Doubleday.

Palmer, P. J. (2000). Let your life speak. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Porter-O'Grady, T., & Malloch, K. (2007). Quantum Leadership, A resource for Health Care Innovation (Second ed.). Sudbury, Massachusetts: Jones and Bartlett.

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