Professor Shafi Ahmed on Turning Hype into Innovation


November 16, 2021

Our health is our wealth. Without it, we can’t live up to our full potential or achieve all of the feats we have in our brilliant minds. So when something goes wrong, and we need to take a trip to the hospital or doctor’s office, we want to have the best possible conditions. Innovation is important in every industry, but with the lives of real human beings in the balance, healthcare needs to move faster. As technology grows and gets more advanced, the industry grows around it. So what lessons can we take from the playbook of the healthcare industry? How can we make innovation a priority like our lives depend on it?

Professor Shafi Ahmed is just the guy to talk to. He is a multi-award winning cancer surgeon who has live streamed operations in order to educate people on a worldwide scale. Not only is he a surgeon, he’s a futurist, innovator, entrepreneur and humanitarian. 

His position in the healthcare world gives him a unique perspective on what it means to be ahead of the curve. He understands how technology can push forward the trajectory of innovation, the importance of changing quickly, and the need for collaboration between all industries to help our society grow.

Three takeaways from my conversation with Shafi Ahmed

Technology has a lot of promise. But it’s only as useful as we make it. “We’ve had all of these exponential technologies suddenly become available. I knew at some point the future was coming to us healthcare workers, to reshape and reimagine what healthcare could look like. The pace of change is remarkable. But whatever we do with it, the goal should be to ensure that patients are at the heart of what we do. We should be using it to improve their experience.”

Lessons in innovation are transferable. “We need to redesign the way we implement change as fast as possible. I’m a proponent of collaboration, understanding, and learning from different industries. It takes collaboration to create a better society and learn from our experiences.”

Good ideas come with a lot of hype. Then comes the hope, but the credibility comes from the innovation it produces. “AI is a great example. It had its hype, which came with hope. And now we’re seeing the reality – the real life cases in healthcare where we see the benefits. We’re now in an era of implementation. We’re seeing the amazing possibilities, but we have to get real. How can we make it work? How can we fix the industry? How can we improve it? The validation comes from the clinical trials and patient outcomes that use the techniques we put our hopes in.” 

Taking notes from the healthcare industry’s playbook can speed up the process of innovation in any industry. Listen to my full conversation with Professor Shafi Ahmed to dig deeper into what it means to turn hype and hope into tangible progress. 

About Carla

Carla Johnson Innovation Creativity Speaker Author

Carla Johnson helps leaders who are often paralyzed by traditional thinking. They suffer from slow growth, an eroding competitive advantage, low employee engagement, and depleted investor confidence. Their teams lack purpose and progress and constantly battle a resistance to change and new ideas.

As the world’s leading innovation architect, Carla’s spent 20 years helping leaders shatter limits and discover undiscovered possibilities. Through years of research, she’s developed a simple, scalable 5-step process that teaches people how to consistently produce inspired ideas that lead to uncommon outcomes.