One type of physician entrepreneur is an edupreneur. If we use the definition that entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity with scarce or uncontrolled resources with the goal of creating user defined value through the deployment of innovation using a VAST business model then it means much more. In fact, there are many ways to innovate and create user defined value, whether it be in sick care or education, other than taking care of patients, starting a business or teaching students.
Edupreneurship rests on several foundational principles:
- Having an entrepreneurial mindset
- Intra- and entrepreneurial knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies
- Design thinking focused on creating stakeholder and beneficiary defined outcomes
- A systems engineering approach to solving wicked problems, like how to fix outcomes disparities and their social determinants
- A different business model
- More respect for and attention to edupreneurial champions
- Better teacher education and training
- An incentive and reward system for not just tweaking a failed system , but rather, making it obsolete given the basic structural changes in the US economy
- Eliminating unnecessary and burdensome bureaucracy, credentialing that does not add value and administrivia
- Paying more attention to and measuring student defined outcomes
- Better public-private integration
- K-20 integration and alignment
Are you ready to innovate? Where do you score on the organizational readiness assessment? If the answer is no, fix what is broken. If you scored high, then start moving through the program or project development and launch.
Most projects have five phases:
- Initiation: Here is where you set out the project scope, the goals, the organization of the project, its business case, its constraints, who the stakeholders are, what the risks are, the project controls, the reporting framework, etc.
- Planning: This is where you build the roadmap to take you from Point A to Point B, which means creating a schedule of the tasks, deadlines and resources needed to complete everything on time.
- Execution: The project begins and the project plan is put into action.
- Monitoring & Controlling: To make sure the project is proceeding as planned, you need to set up mechanisms for monitoring progress. If the project isn’t proceeding as planned, work to control and resolve issues before they become problems.
- Closing: Projects are temporary endeavors, so they eventually come to an end and need to be formally closed. But it’s not as simple as producing deliverables, there’s paperwork to sign off on, resources to reallocate and other loose ends to tie up.
Creating and deploying a new course, program or degree typically follows 6 stages:
- Doing a stakeholder assessment and gap analysis
- Content and curriculum design and curriculum mapping
- Launching your “go to students” strategy
- Measuring the results
- Continuous quality improvement
- Ending programs that are not viable or underperforming
A business model is a useful way to build your educational product , much like a technology startup would.
For edupreneurs, though, there are some peculiarities you should address:
- There are multiple stakeholders (customers) each of whom want you to deliver a product (students) that satisfy their jobs, pains and expected gains
- Each stakeholder will want a different value proposition (students want one thing, faculty and donors might want others)
- How you get, keep and grow (customer relationships) classes will vary
- Distribution channels have gone hybrid as a result of COVID
- Revenue models typically involve tuition, state support for public schools, federal or industry research grants and contracts and donations. Many are dropping and facing resistance because of high student loan numbers
- What you offer students (activities) are migrating to problem and project based learning and subjects, like innovation and entrepreneurship, data science and analytics, the business of medicine and systems science are creeping into the curriculum
- Resources include intellectual property, infrastructure, financial, online educational resources, and human resources
- Partners and sponsors have to be both internal and external
- Costs are prohibitive and need to be slashed
- Objectives and key results need to go beyond profit and loss and include sustainability and equity and the competencies required to win the 4th industrial revolution.
Each of the underlying business assumptions need to be validated by customer discovery and gap analysis techniques.
Here are some project management basics to help measure your progress and move you from one stage to the next.
Many medical schools are rethinking medical education in the aftermath of COVID. Some have the opportunity to start from scratch and leapfrog in the process of creating new medical schools. Others are taking smaller steps, like workshops, offering outside online resources, seminars, grand rounds and clubs to test the waters and crawl before they walk or un up to a PhD program in healthcare artificial intelligence.
Physician entrepreneurship is not just about creating a business. It is about creating user defined value through the deployment of innovation using a VAST business model. Here are the problems facing medical schools.
Edupreneurs are seizing the opportunity to solve them.