How To Be A Champion For Your New Clinical Technology

Source: Clinical Leader

In November 2019 Clinical Leader Live was proud to feature Larry Florin, president at LBF BioPharma Consulting, to discuss how clinical operations executives can Overcome The Challenges of a Clinical Technology Implementation. During the presentation, Florin covered several topics, including how to be a champion for the technology, how to determine your technology selection team, addressing your to do list, managing enthusiasm, and finding and vetting the right technology vendor. In this video, Florin discusses how to be a champion for the new technology and build enthusiasm for it.

Click here to see the complete interview.


Ed Miseta: When we first talked about this topic a couple weeks ago, one of the things you told me is that when you're trying to get a new technology implemented in-house, you really need to be a champion of that technology. I think that would be a good place to start. Can you discuss a little bit about what exactly that means? And what are some of the things that you need to be thinking about, when you're about to become a champion for a new technology?

Larry Florin: Sure, Ed, and hello everyone. To answer your question, in terms of being maybe the originator and ultimately the champion of a particular exercise is that you need to take a number of things into account.

First and foremost is to really do a great job of identifying, "What's the underlying problem?" There may be one problem. There may be a series of problems and looking for a technology or a group of technologies that will help solve it. You don't want to look around or try to undertake an exercise, just for the sake of saying, "We want to do something different," or that, "We're going to spend money with the hope that it really can provide us with some value." You want to really think about that. You want to spend time with your peers, your colleagues, your managers, to make sure that that's something that they agree needs to be solved, number one.

Number two, as part of the overall exercise I'm sure we'll get into during the course of this discussion, identifying the right choices in terms of, "What will fulfill that need?" And then lastly, making sure that there's buy-in, not only from your colleagues and peers but also from senior management at the beginning. And then when you embark on that road or that journey, and serve in that role, be prepared, because there's a number of challenges and obstacles that you'll need to encounter.

Ed, I'm not sure if I'm answering your question very directly, but it's a very broad series of elements that one needs to consider when undertaking this really, really important leadership role.

Ed Miseta: No, that's a great intro. We will be getting into some of those challenge in just a little bit. I think that part of being a champion means building enthusiasm. I think that's one of the things you probably need to do right from the start, not so much promise things that the technology can't deliver, but certainly building enthusiasm for it. Getting everybody that's going to be using the technology and involved with it on board as well and getting excited about it. How do you recommend doing that within an organization?

Larry Florin: Yeah, that's a great question. I think first and foremost, one needs to be aware of organizational dynamics. I think we all work with people that we can rely on to provide support for us. There are those that tend to be a little bit more or less open-minded perhaps, or they need to see factual evidence of why something needs to be brought on. To me, it's really about managing organizational dynamics, and a large part of that is managing the key stakeholders.

And again, some of those I mentioned just a few minutes ago, your peers, your colleagues, the people doing the work, or the people that will be affected by the technology. And then a critical component I think can't be emphasized enough is to make sure that there is senior level or executive support for the endeavor.

There's really two parts to that. One is, if you had their leadership support, if you had executive sponsorship, oftentimes that road or that pathway that you'll be trying to bring your team up, or bring you or yourself and your colleagues along with, will be cleared and will be fewer obstacles.

Number two, it also helps manage the naysayers. These are the people that always seem to crop up out of nowhere, and always want to find reasons why something won't work or tell you all the reasons why this won't be successful. It's really, really important that you invest the time with those individuals, so that you understand their concerns and you really think about building factual evidence to help overcome some of their challenges. To be honest, be open-minded, because sometimes there is things that they'll provide that you'll validate. In fact, those are concerns that you really should consider.

So I think it's a group of those things, but I think first and foremost is make sure, as I said in the first question that Ed posed, is that you understand and identify what your challenge is and how that's going to be resolved, what the value that will bring in terms of finding a solution. And then number two, making sure you have senior leadership, if not executive leadership support.